Police have launched a major investigation into child sexual exploitation and abuse.
Thousands of parents of children at secondary schools in Torbay and Teignbridge in Devon have been sent letters informing them of the investigation.
Devon and Cornwall Police said the inquiry – Operation Mansfield – focused on several child victims.
A police statement said: “Officers are in the process of identifying potential victims and arranging to speak to them. The inquiry is at a very early stage and no arrests have been made.”
Police confirmed a letter had been sent out to parents of all children attending secondary schools in the Torbay and Teignbridge areas.
The letter said: “I write this letter to reassure, not alarm you.
“In partnership with the police, Children’s Services and the NHS, I need to inform you about a complex child abuse investigation that is currently under way in Torbay.
“The investigation involves the sexual exploitation of a number of young people in Torbay, some of whom are in our Torbay schools.
“None of this exploitation has occurred in any Torbay school, but I am informing you about the investigation because I recognise that there will be real concern that this sort of thing is happening within our community.”
A teacher at one secondary school in the area, who declined to be named, said: “I believe a number of girls have been interviewed but no arrests have been made.”