Humberside Police have reopened an investigation into organised child abuse in the city of Hull.
The case was wound down in June 2021, but five months later Sky News produced a series of reports revealing evidence of organised abuse in the city, as well as an alleged new victim in the case.
This morning, alleged victims were told the case was being reopened and Humberside police released a statement saying they have “taken the decision to establish a new investigative team and recommence the investigation”.
Sky News assessed the case last autumn with the help of a leading child abuse expert.
After examining diaries, texts, school reports, photos of injuries and testimonies of the women, Jim Gamble, the former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection service, said there was “significant corroboration” and the case should go to court.
He added: “If they need additional evidence, they should go out and get it.”
Operation Marksmen was a two-year investigation by Humberside Police.
Thirty-four people were arrested, while 200 digital devices were seized from suspects for forensic examination and more than 100,000 text messages were reviewed. But no one was charged with abuse offences.
Officers concluded that the evidence did not cross the threshold set by the Crown Prosecution Service to proceed to a prosecution.
However, the force invited the external Hydrant Programme team, which assesses sexual abuse cases, to provide a full evidential review of the investigation.
Victims ‘being updated’ on developments
Following that, Assistant Chief Constable David Marshall said: “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.”