Hull child grooming gang investigation widened as new team brought in to bring offenders to justice
The two-year Operation Marksman investigation saw the arrests of 34 people, but no charges directly related to the investigation brought forward
Humberside Police have confirmed that their investigation into Hull child grooming gangs has widened in a new bid to bring offenders to justice.
Operation Marksman was launched in spring 2019 in relation to allegations of child sexual exploitation against two victims in Hull.
While a two-year investigation ensued which saw the arrests of 34 people, no charges directly related to the investigation have been brought forward.
Despite this, the force insist the investigation has remained "under review" and continues to be a "priority".
In a new bid to widen the investigation, the Deputy Chief Constable has invited the external Hydrant Programme team to provide an evidential review of the investigation so far, before informing the police of their next steps.
The Hydrant Programme is the national lead for policing response, coordination and oversight of child sexual abuse investigations.
In a statement, Assistant Chief Constable David Marshall says the investigation team will look to "focus on a number of lines of inquiry".
He said: “We have continuously reviewed the investigation and in 2021, chief officers commissioned a review of the investigation so far by Hydrant, who are national experts in this complex area of investigation.
“Based on Hydrant's evidential review of Op Marksman, Humberside Police have taken the decision to establish a new investigative team and recommence the investigation.
“The investigation team will focus on a number of lines of enquiry, with the victims being updated and receiving our full support.
“Humberside Police understand the significant public interest in any allegations of child sexual abuse and exploitation within our communities.
"As the investigation is active, it is imperative we protect its integrity. When we are at a stage where releasing further detail will not impact or jeopardise any criminal or judicial proceedings, we will of course look to communicate this information."