Suspected paedophiles arrested in south in national crackdown

A total of 660 suspected paedophiles have been arrested in a major six-month police operation across Britain, the National Crime Agency said.

Latest ITV News reports

Advertisement

Granada

Suspected paedophiles held in nationwide crackdown

National Crime Agency officers
National Crime Agency officers Credit: PA

More than 100 suspected paedophiles have been arrested in the North West as part of a national blitz on child sex crime.

  • Greater Manchester Police - 46 people arrested
  • Merseyside Police - 26 people arrested
  • Cheshire Police - 21 people arrested
  • Lancashire - 16 people arrested
  • Cumbria - 4 people arrested

45 police forces have taken part in the swoops, dubbed Operation Notarise and led by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

NCA chiefs said those arrested nationally included doctors, teachers, scout leaders, care workers and former police officers.

The operation took six months to complete, and has included the arrest of 39 registered sex offenders.

NCA deputy director general Phil Gormley said:

“Some of the people who start by accessing indecent images online go on to abuse children directly. So the operation is not only about catching people who have already offended - it is about influencing potential offenders before they cross that line.”

– Phil Gormley, NCA deputy director general
National

Doctors, teachers and Scout leaders among arrests

NCA officers attend an address on a previous operation.
NCA officers attend an address on a previous operation. Credit: PA

The NCA said suspects include doctors, teachers, Scout leaders, care workers and former police officers. In total, only 39 registered sex offenders are among those arrested.

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

The NCA said it built up "intelligence packages" on suspects and sent them to police forces across Britain.

National

Internet users accessing child abuse images 'targeted'

The six-month operation targeted internet users who access child abuse images but has already led to charges for serious sexual assault.

Among the several hundred people arrested across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are workers who had access to children through their jobs and had no previous contact with police.

The massive investigation, involving 45 police forces, led to hundreds of children being "safeguarded", the NCA said.

It stressed that none of those arrested is a serving or former MP or member of the Government.

Advertisement

Six arrested as part of national paedophile operation

Wiltshire police have arrested six suspects as part of a national operation involving 45 police forces.

In Wiltshire, officers from the Child Internet Exploitation Team arrested six suspects from around the county.

Arrests made in Wiltshire are:

  • April- 30 year old male- Tidworth area- arrested for making and possessing indecent images of children.
  • May- 24 yr old male- Trowbridge area- arrested for making and possessing indecent images of children.
  • June- 60 yr old male - Salisbury area - arrested for making and possessing indecent images of children.
  • June- 26 yr old male - Trowbridge area- arrested for making and possessing indecent images of children.
  • June- 49 yr old male- Swindon area- arrested for making and possessing indecent images of children
  • July- 29 yr old male- Calne area - arrested for making and possessing indecent images of children.

Wiltshire Police have a dedicated team of investigators that target those suspected of making, possessing and distributing indecent images of children via the internet.

This operation highlights the national scale of this crime.

We will continue to work alongside our partner agencies to ensure those arrested are brought to justice and any child that is identified through these investigations are properly safeguarded and protected from the risk of further harm.”

– Detective Sergeant Jason Roberts from Wiltshire’s CIET

Hampshire Police target online child abuse

Hampshire Police have reported that 17 children have been safeguarded as part of a six-month operation targeting online child abuse nationally.

The covert enforcement operation was co-ordinated by the National Crime Agency and involved 45 police forces across the country.

Nationally, it led to the arrests of 660 suspected paedophiles and the protection or safeguarding of more than 400 children.

The force received 37 packages relating to suspected online child sex offences.

They have arrested 33 men on suspicion of possessing and distributing indecent images of children.

Today’s announcement of the results of the operation marks the culmination of six months of covert work by our dedicated officers. “The 37 packages we received are just some of the hundreds of referrals about online child abuse that our Paedophile and Online Investigation team deals with every year.

Online offences can involve actual physical abuse and grooming as well as the making, possession and distribution of indecent images of children. “All are criminal offences and a form of child abuse. They are not victimless crimes. Each time an image is shared, it further victimises that child."

– Detective Chief Inspector Becky Riggs

Surrey and Sussex arrests part of paedophile operation

The Surrey and Sussex Paedophile On-Line Investigation Teams has been taking part in the crackdown as well.

This resulted in a total of 29 warrants being executed in Sussex with 24 arrests, and six warrants being executed in Surrey with seven arrests.

All arrests were for offences relating to the possession and/or sharing of indecent images of children.

In Sussex 332 computers and related items were seized, and in Surrey 72 were seized.

Several thousand other items such as books, magazines, DVDs and cassettes were seized.

Forensic examination and further enquiries are continuing in each case while the men are on bail, and reports will be submitted to the CPS when investigations are complete.

Load more updates