CLAIMS of child sexual exploitation in North Yorkshire are "robustly investigated", with 63 potential offenders are being actively monitored, police have said.

The statement follows the recent independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, where it was revealed 1,400 children were groomed, abused or raped over an extended period of time.

This week, Detective Superintendent Heather Pearson, head of the protecting vulnerable persons unit for North Yorkshire Police, said the force was working with partner agencies to ensure children who are at risk of child abuse are being safeguarded, and all claims were investigated.

Det Supt Pearson said: "All criminal investigations are robustly investigated and managed by specialist officers within the force's protecting vulnerable persons teams and safeguarding hub.

"The hub has dedicated staff who support area investigation teams to ensure that all information sharing and referrals, both into and out of the force, are effectively managed with social care agencies. The Hub also provides advice, support and a link to operational teams regarding child sexual exploitation and children missing from home."

Det Supt Pearson said police had also been working on Operation Conceal since 2012, which monitors all information relating to child sexual exploitation to identify potential victims and offenders.

She said: "The focus of this operation is about early identification of potential victims and offenders, using police and partner agency resources to engage quickly with those involved and take effective action, prior to any escalation of risk.

"Police action includes the allocation of appropriate resources to oversee a plan to support victims or potential victims and target offenders or potential offenders. Analysis identified the force were actively monitoring and managing risk in relation to 84 potential victims and 63 potential offenders."

Det Supt Pearson said she would examine the results of the Rotherham inquiry with Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Mason, head of crime, to highlight any lessons or actions which could be adopted by North Yorkshire Police, "to ensure we provide an effective response to the critical area of safeguarding vulnerable children".