Police in Britain have arrested 17 people for their alleged role in a “paedophile ring” that involved the abuse of young girls in a west London primary school.
The arrests were made in the town of Eastbourne, about 30 miles south of London, on Monday, after police carried out a “pre-charge” investigation and received “a substantial number” of tips.
Police have not revealed the names of the 17 suspects, but the BBC understands that two of the arrests are from the area.
Among those arrested were four men from the city, and two women from the same area.
The suspects were allegedly involved in the “pornography of the highest order” and were “willing to take the lives of vulnerable children and girls” in order to “get their sexual gratification”, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
“The investigation has now revealed the extent of the network of abusers, and the nature of the offences committed, and we are seeking to identify those responsible,” it added.
Authorities have identified several people who they said were involved in a sex ring operating out of the school, including a 17-year-old boy who allegedly used the pseudonym “Porn Star”.
The boy was arrested on Tuesday and was expected to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
“He is alleged to have abused more than 50 children in the area over the last 18 months,” the Met said in its statement.
A 13-year old boy who is one of the victims of the alleged abuse is believed to have been the one who approached police about the “predatory” activity.
A 17-old man is also among the people arrested and is said to be in custody, the Metropolitan police said.