An unprecedented six-month operation coordinated by the NCA and involving 45 police forces across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland has led to the arrest of 660 suspected paedophiles.
More than 400 children across the UK have been safeguarded.
Some of those arrested had unsupervised access to children in the course of their work. They include doctors, teachers, scout leaders, care workers and former police officers.
Of the 660, 39 people were Registered Sex Offenders but the majority of those arrested had not previously come to law enforcement’s attention.
The operation targeted people accessing indecent images of children online. It has stayed covert till today in order to protect children, identify offenders and secure evidence. The NCA and its partners are not revealing the methods they used to track down suspects so that they can use the same tactics again in the future.
Charging decisions are awaited in most cases because of ongoing enquiries but so far charges brought range from possessing indecent images of children to serious sexual assault.
NCA 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”.
For the full story go to the NCA website
The Association for Education Welfare Management provides professional support for Managers in Education Social Work (ESW), the Education Welfare Service (EWS) and safeguarding in education. It has been doing this since its formation in 1917.
We help deliver effective and competent services, accessible to children, families and schools by maintaining a network of fellow professionals and providing a forum for members to share, support and consult. Our objectives are...
To promote and safeguard the rights of children and young persons and to establish and foster co-operation with other organisations working in the interests of children and young persons.
To advance the professional interests of its members.
To promote and improve the ethos of social inclusion.
To encourage the development and training of all staff in education welfare and social inclusion.
To disseminate information to the membership on developments in education welfare and social inclusion.
We have links with Government and other political and professional bodies including the Department for Education, CSF, Teacher Associations and Unions and our sister organisation NASWE.
Members receive information on current issues and potential changes affecting their work and are given opportunities to comment on consultation documents. They are also offered training and supporting literature. Regional groups meet quarterly to provide a forum for debate, exchange of views and a vehicle for the provision and discussion of information.