21st Oct, 2017

Nearly 600 investigated in past year for child sex offences

Laura Kearns 9th Dec, 2016 Updated: 9th Dec, 2016

THERE has been nearly 600 investigations into child abuse across the region in the past year.

Officers launched Operation Safenet to find those using the internet to view and exchange sexually explicit images of children.

Since the operation launched across Warwickshire, West Midlands and West Mercia, police have arrested some 350 people and safeguarded nearly 500 children.

And officers are warning those committing the same offence that they will be caught.

Det Sgt Matthew McNelis said: “Operation Safenet uses the latest mobile based technology to enable us to set up a digital forensics laboratory in the home of the suspect and examine the computers, mobiles, tables and data storage devices within minutes. The forensics staff work with the police officers in the address to immediately secure evidence for a prosecution and help build the case, so a quick decision can be made in terms of charges and putting the suspect before the courts.

“This approach to the evidence means we can immediately take action to prevent further offences and importantly take action to protect any children at risk.

“I want those using such images to really think about their actions, often they think there isn’t a victim because they might not have any direct contact with the children in the images, but those children are victims of abuse and were abused to make those images.

“With colleagues across the region, we will continue to tackle this issue and take enforcement action to protect children until we know children are safe.”

Adults concerned about their own behaviour or that of someone they know can visit www.stopitnow.org.uk for advice.

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