Northumbria Police Chief Constable Steve Ashman during a press conference in Newcastle Wednesday Aug. 9, 2017 after more than men were convicted of sexual offences. (Owen Humphreys/PA via AP)
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A gang of 18 people has been found guilty of trafficking and sexually abusing vulnerable teenage girls and young women for several years in northern England, prosecutors said Wednesday, in the latest shocking case of its kind in Britain.Ashman said the wider police investigation into sexual exploitation in the area, known as Operation Sanctuary, was the largest and most intricate operation his force had ever undertaken. In total officers had arrested 461 people, leading to 93 convictions, he said.Britain has been rocked by a series of child sex abuse scandals in recent years, the most shocking taking place in the northern town of Rotherham where a 2014 report concluded that as many as 1,400 children were sexually abused by gangs of mainly Asian men over a 16-year period.
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