International

Police arrest 660 suspected paedophiles in sex crime crackdown

Officers have examined 833 properties and examined 9,172 computers, phones and hard drives.

Officers have examined 833 properties and examined 9,172 computers, phones and hard drives.

Police forces across Britain have arrested 660 suspected paedophiles during a six-month covert operation to target people accessing indecent images of children online, Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said today.

Doctors, teachers, scout leaders, care workers and former police officers were among those held in the action, which involved 45 police forces around the United Kingdom.

The NCA said more than 400 children had been “safeguarded” thanks to the operation.

The six-month operation, which had remained a secret until Wednesday, targeted people accessing offensive images of children online.

Arrests were made across the UK. The majority of those held had no prior contact with police. Charging decisions are awaited in most cases because of ongoing enquires.

Phil Gormley, the NCA deputy director general, said: “This is the first time the UK has had the capability to coordinate a single targeted operation of this nature. Over the past six months we have seen unprecedented levels of cooperation to deliver this result.”

Thirty-nine of those arrested were registered sex offenders.

Detectives said that one suspect was part of an online group that shared films in which he abused a child, including footage featuring “the most serious form of abuse against very young children.”

“We want those offenders to know that the internet is not a safe anonymous space for accessing indecent images, that they leave a digital footprint, and that law enforcement will find it,” Gormley said.

The investigation involved 45 police forces across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and saw an “unprecedented level of co-operation,” the NCA added.

Officers have examined 833 properties and examined 9,172 computers, phones and hard drives.

Originally published on Voice of Russia UK. 

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