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More arrests in paedophile raids

Computer equipment was seized during the raids Photo: PA

Several arrests have been made in the South in a nationwide crackdown on suspected internet paedophiles led by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop).

In Kent, four men were arrested on suspicion of downloading indecent images, with warrants executed in Maidstone, Gillingham, Rochester and Herne Bay.

Kent Police said they have all been freed on police bail, except the man detained in Herne Bay who was still being held in custody.

Detective Sergeant David Shipley said: "We remain dedicated to targeting those individuals who possess indecent images of children and we were keen to support this national operation organised by Ceop who provide a valuable contribution to the fight against child abuse."

Four men have also been arrested by Hampshire Police: a 54-year-old man from Gosport, a 43-year-old man from Waterlooville, a 55-year-old from Petersfield and a man from Chandlers Ford who's 49.

Meanwhile, a 43-year-old man from Bexhill, East Sussex, was arrested by officers from the Paedophile On-Line Investigation Team (POLIT) of Sussex Police on suspicion of distribution of indecent images of children.

Officers seized computer equipment from his home and the man was later released on conditional bail until December 12 while inquiries continue, including forensic examination of computer material, a Sussex Police spokesman said.

The Sussex officers were supported by officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), investigating intelligence that indecent images of children have been exchanged through email with people in the United States, he said.

The spokesman said there were no allegations of any actual contact offending at this time, although the computer material is yet to be fully examined. He added that there was no evidence to suggest that any of the images were of local children.

The Sussex POLIT, established in July 2008, acts as the specific point of contact for all suspected paedophile online offences in the county.

Detective Superintendent Nev Kemp said: "This area of policing is particularly difficult not only due to the nature of the images officers have to view, but also to the devious electronic methods the criminals use to try to conceal their offending across the web."

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