TWENTY people have been arrested on suspicion of child sexual exploitation offences in Bury.

Five men and one woman have been taken into police custody today on suspicion of a number of offences, including rape, sexual assault and possession of indecent images.

The arrests have been made as part of an ongoing investigation into child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Bury.

Police said their top priority is supporting the victims of abuse, and praised the 25 young people who had found the courage to speak out.

Officers have arrested a 24-year old man on suspicion of rape of a female under the age of 18, sexual assault and kidnap.

They have arrested an 18-year-old man on suspicion of rape of a female under the age of 18, sexual assault and possession of indecent images.

A 28-year-old man, 32-year-old man and 33-year-old man were all arrested on suspicion of rape of a female under the age of 18.

A 29-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of arranging or facilitating the sexual exploitation of a child.

A team of specialists from various agencies are leading on the investigation, which has been named Operation Burgos.

The offences are believed to have taken place in public parks, outdoor locations and various premises across Bury.

A total of 20 people have now been arrested as part of the enquiries.

Detective Superintendent Joanne Rawlinson, of Greater Manchester Police’s Bury district, said: "This is a complex investigation and today’s action is a result of the extensive work between police, Bury Council Children’s Services and other partners.

"Our main focus is to protect and support the young people affected by these types of offences and to prevent further abuse from taking place. Detectives have worked tirelessly to recover evidence and will continue to do so.

"You cannot underestimate how incredibly difficult it is for a young person to speak out about the abuse that they have suffered for a whole host of reasons.

"About 25 young people have found the confidence to speak with us about what has happened to them. This figure may well increase as the investigation continues.

"Supporting each young person alongside our specialist partners including Bury Council Children’s Services will remain our priority."

Police have urged anyone with concerns or questions about CSE in Bury to contact them.

Karen Dolton, Bury Council's executive director for children, said: "The police and our children's services teams work tirelessly to support young people to come forward and tell their story.

“This kind of effective multi-agency working is essential in ensuring that vulnerable young people are protected and that perpetrators of CSE are brought to justice."

To speak with police about any concerns or questions, call 0161 856 4484.

In an emergency, call police on 999. To report non-urgent crime, call police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

For information about how to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation, visit