Notts Police has taken part in a nationwide operation to help safeguard children by arresting suspected sex offenders.
Following an unprecedented six-month operation coordinated by the National Crime Agency, it can be revealed 660 arrests have been made across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, with more than 400 children safeguarded.
The operation aimed to target people allegedly accessing indecent images of children online. Details of the operation have not been released until now to protect children, identify offenders and secure evidence.
Supt Helen Chamberlain, head of Public Protection in Notts, said: “We need to do all we can to ensure children are kept safe and are protected from any potential harm. The internet is often seen as a wonderful technological advance, but unfortunately there are always some who will look to take advantage of others, and abuse it for their own gratification.”
“The force has been working with the NCA to take whatever action is necessary to protect the public. Those who use the internet to abuse children should certainly be looking over their shoulder.”
National Crime Agency 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.”
“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.”
“We want those offenders to know that the internet is not a safe anonymous space for accessing indecent images, that they leave a digital footprint, and that law enforcement will find it”.
The figures for the number of arrests and cases ongoing are not being released until ratified.