Child exploitation investigation launched after raids in Portsmouth

major anti social drive with operation varney by isle of wight police officers

Police have conducted a series of warrants throughout Tuesday 21 August in Portsmouth and Havant.

The arrests are in connection with a complex and detailed investigation into criminal and sexual exploitation of teenagers in Portsmouth.

A number of victims have been identified and are being supported and safeguarded by the local authority, police and other agencies.

Portsmouth District Commander Superintendent Maggie Blyth said: “This investigation involves specialist teams across the force and it will take us some time to understand the details.

“Gathering details from victims is a delicate process and they are being supported through this. This support will be ongoing.

“We are taking a strong partnership approach to this investigation which will continue. We’d encourage anyone who thinks they may be able to help us to contact us, or if they are more comfortable a social worker, support worker someone else trusted.

“We are communicating directly within the community, anyone with concerns can also contact their local Neighbourhood Policing team.”

Nine people remain in custody:

Two 17-year-old boys from Portsmouth
23-year-old man from Portsmouth
21-year-old man from Portsmouth
Two 15-year-old boys from Havant
29-year-old man from Portsmouth
13-year-old boy from Portsmouth
14-year-old boy from Havant
Children’s Services at Portsmouth City Council have a dedicated phone number to report concerns relating to the welfare of young people in the city, 023 9243 7645.

If you have any information, please contact us on 101, quoting reference number

44180160002. In an emergency, call 999.