Region's police target suspected paedophiles

The region's police have made dozens of arrests as part of a nationwide operation targeting suspected paedophiles.

Region's police work together to target suspected paedophiles

The region's police have made dozens of arrests as part of a nationwide operation targeting suspected paedophiles.

Led by the National Crime Agency, 45 forces across the country, including Bedfordshire, Essex, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, and Thames Valley, focused their efforts on people who were accessing indecent images of children online.

In total, Operation Notarise led to 660 arrests and helped to safeguard more than 400 children.

Among those arrested were doctors, teachers, scout leaders, care workers and former police officers with unsupervised access to young people.

Action by the region's forces included:

  • 14 arrests by Bedfordshire Police. One had been charge, 13 remain on bail.
  • 10 arrests of men aged between 18 and 66 by Suffolk Police. All are on bail.
  • Seven men, aged between 29 and 68, arrested in Norfolk.
  • A total of 347 computers and 36 mobile phones seized across Norfolk and Suffolk.
  • 24 men arrested and 20 children safeguarded in Essex. In total 31 search warrants were carried out.
  • Seven people arrested in Hertfordshire. All are on police bail.
  • 30 people arrested and more than 10 children safeguarded by Thames Valley Police.

NCA Deputy Director General Phil Gormley 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.

“Our aim was to protect children who were victims of, or might be at risk of, sexual exploitation.

"A child is victimised not only when they are abused and an image is taken. They are re-victimised every time that image is viewed by someone.