Raids carried out in Milton Keynes to target online child sexual abusers
Thames Valley Police say lockdown has triggered a rise in reports of online child sexual abuse.Two raids have been carried out in Milton Keynes as part of a month of action targeting online abusers across the force's area.
Referrals to Thames Valley Police from the National Crime Agency have risen by 93% in the past 12 months.
Officers from the force's Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT), have been carrying out the warrants at addresses across the Thames Valley area, arresting people who are believed to be involved in online child sexual abuse and seizing items from their homes.
In addition, they have been carrying out safeguarding visits where children have uploaded child abuse material.
This month alone, Thames Valley Police have addressed 43 referrals from the National Crime Agency:
With more and more people currently at home and online due to coronavirus restrictions, the POLIT team has worked to combat those who are looking to exploit this in order to abuse children.
Detective Inspector Jon Axford says the fact that abuse is taking place online doesn't make it any less impactful.
Thames Valley Police work with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation to prevent online child sexual abuse and support the families of those who are identified as offenders. Their Stop It Now campaign provides free, anonymous and confidential support.
Click here to find out more about where you can get support.