Sting nabs 600 pedos across UK, Scotland, Northen Ireland
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/18/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
An Internet sting operation targeting pedophiles has led to the arrest of 660 individuals in the United Kingdom. Among those arrested were teachers, doctors, scout leaders, social care workers and former police officers. The six-month investigation was conducted over the breadth of the nation which included England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Heightened awareness of child sexual abuse in the United Kingdom came in the wake of shocking revelations of predatory sexual behavior by late TV host Jimmy Savile.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the National Crime Agency, the operation targeted people accessing indecent images of children online. The operation involved the cooperation of 45 police forces.
As a result of their efforts, more than 400 children across the U.K. have been protected from harm as a result.
Thirty-nine of the suspects arrested were already registered sex offenders, which meant that the vast majority had no convictions and were not included in any databases.
The operation was kept secret until this week to protect children and gather evidence against the accused, a statement read. The agency is not revealing the methods used to track down suspects as it hopes to deploy them again in the future.
Charges brought against the suspects include possession of indecent images of children to serious sexual assault. Many suspects are awaiting formal charges.
"This is the first time the U.K. has had the capability to coordinate a single targeted operation of this nature," Phil Gormley, the agency's deputy director general said.
"Our aim was to protect children who were victims of, or might be at risk of, sexual exploitation. A child is victimized not only when they are abused and an image is taken. They are re-victimized every time that image is viewed by someone."
Pedophiles who start by looking at indecent images of children online go on to abuse children directly, Gormley says. Arresting them now may prevent them from crossing that line.
Sexual abuse of children in the United Kingdom has entered the public's consciousness following the sentencing of popular child's entertainer Rolf Harris, who was sentenced this month to five years and nine months in prison for a string of indecent assaults against women and girls.
The case came in the wake of shocking revelations of predatory sexual behavior by the late TV host Jimmy Savile against vulnerable children and adults.
The publicity around those high-profile cases appears to have encouraged others to come forward with allegations of abuse.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
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