Published on June 15th, 2012 | by admin0
CEOP Leads Police Raids Across UK
Around 80 suspected paedophiles have been arrested in a nationwide crackdown against the possession of indecent images of children.
Courtesy of – Nic Brunetti – Police Oracle
Almost 80 people have been arrested in police raids across the UK against suspected online sex offenders, CEOP has confirmed.
Seventy-six arrests were made as more than 140 search warrants were executed by 42 police forces taking part in Operation Tharsley – which is targeting those suspected of possessing indecent images of children.
Around 80 children have been removed from harm so far in the Operation, which was led by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).
The suspects are understood to have been identified from intelligence received directly from CEOP as well as investigations conducted locally by forces.
In the West Midlands three men, aged between 37 and 47, were arrested on suspicion of downloading indecent images – with four children being taken to safety.
In Kent four men were arrested and North Yorkshire Police also arrested another four during the 48-hour raids which took place between Tuesday June 12 and Wednesday June 13.
A CEOP statement said: “The majority of the warrants related to image offences, including the possession and distribution of indecent images of children (IIOC). Additionally, arrests were also made where known offenders had breached the conditions of the Sex Offender’s Register.
“The CEOP Centre coordinated Op Tharsley with UK police forces and with support from the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), which provided 34 officers to assist with the execution of warrants, seizing equipment and interviewing of offenders.”
The conclusion of the operation coincided with CEOP’s launch of its own report into indecent images of children, entitled ‘A Picture of Abuse’.
It makes the link between the possession of indecent images and child abuse itself – and has made recommendations over how police forces can improve their investigations.
CEOP Deputy Chief Executive Andy Baker paid tribute to all the officers involved.
He said: “Op Tharsley highlights the excellent work carried out by UK police forces on a daily basis and I’ve seen first-hand the passion and dedication of officers investigating these cases.
“With our transition into the National Crime Agency, we will continue to support forces with child abuse investigations and enhance the UK’s response in combating child sexual exploitation.”