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16 July 2014, 12:25
34 people have been arrested in the Thames Valley as part of a national operation targeting suspected paedophiles.
The six month operation, which is the first of its kind, was nationally co-ordinated by the National Crime Agency and focussed on those using the internet to access indecent images of children.
More than 10 children have been safeguarded here as a result of this operation.
ACC John Campbell said: “This operation has seen a great deal of work being done, both in the Thames Valley and nationally, as all the Forces involved came together to tackle those who would seek to sexually exploit children.
“As part of the operation, we were provided with intelligence from the NCA that allowed us to focus our investigations over the past six months, identifying both suspects and victims.
“I hope that this operation sends out a clear message to anyone who seeks to sexually exploit and abuse children and young people using the internet as a medium, that the internet is no longer a faceless void that allows those to prey on the most vulnerable members of our society.
Nationally 45 Forces were involved, leading to 660 arrests and the safeguarding of more than 400 children.
ACC Campbell added: “This operation focuses on just one area that we must be vigilant to if we are to protect our children and bring suspected abusers to justice.”
At this time 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.
If you have concerns about a child or young person, or if you are a child or young person and someone has asked you to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable either on or offline, you can report through the CEOP safety centre at www.ceop.police.uk (opens new window)
If you are a child and you want to speak to someone in confidence about any issue that is upsetting you, you can contact ChildLine on 0800 1111 or go to www.childline.org.uk to chat to a counsellor in confidence.
If you are an adult and you have concerns about a child you can speak to the NSPCC adult helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email email@example.com
If you have a real emergency or need immediate help you should call 999 or contact your local police.