AN investigation into specific allegations of sexual abuse among Govanhill’s Roma community has concluded without finding evidence to support the claims.

Last year, it was reported as fact that Roma parents are selling their children on the streets for sex.

In response, specialist officers from the National Child Abuse Investigation Unit were called in to probe claims.

Now it has been revealed the investigation has ended without turning up evidence of parents prostituting their children.

Although six arrests were made - including two teenagers - a police insider said none of those arrested are Roma.

There is also no suggestion any of the victims are Roma.

As told in the Evening Times in September, five men and one woman have been arrested and charged in connection with offences relating to child sexual abuse and neglect.

Chief Inspector Ross Allan, Police Scotland’s Area Commander for Glasgow South East, confirmed to a meeting of the Govanhill Regeneration Group the investigation has now concluded.

He urged anyone in the local community who has concerns about child sexual exploitation (CSE) to contact police using either the 999 or 101 numbers and said this would be treated with “high priority”.

Mr Allan said officers would learn from the investigation.

He said: “A specialist, extensive closure report will be compiled, which will be an invaluable source of information as we move forward.”

Rumours have long abounded in Govanhill of parents selling their children on the streets to paedophiles.

While agencies were clear that child sexual abuse occurs in Govanhill - as elsewhere in the city - police and social work maintained this specific allegation had never been proven.

Mr Allan said police would remain vigilant and Susan Orr, head of children’s services, repeated that intention.

Ms Orr said: “I would like to emphasise that CSE is a city wide issue and not a Govanhill issue.

“We have a city wide approach to CSE and a city wide action plan.”

The action plan targets the night time economy and sees workers from the Barnardos street team out on the streets.

Posters have been put up at third sector organisations around Govanhill, Ms Orr told the group.

She added: “I don’t want to focus this on Govanhill. Work being done on the South Side is for the whole of the South Side.”

Local councillor Mhairi Hunter urged caution about listening to rumours on social media.

She said: “Some of the stories circulated have been specifically about children being sold on the streets of Govanhill.

“There has been an extensive police investigation and there is no evidence that that was true.

“We have to be aware that much of what goes around on social media is not actually based on reality.

“That’s the challenge, to encourage people to report anything they see but don’t believe everything you hear from taxi drivers.”

Mr Allan added: “Social media can be very, very divisive and we have seen inflammatory and even dangerous comments posted online.

“So it is important to be really careful of what you read on social media.”