PCC praises police operation to tackle online indecent images
Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said:
“The national covert police operation which has been running for the past six months targeting people accessing indecent images of children online is a crucial and timely piece of work.
“I note that across the UK, only 39 of the 660 people arrested were Registered Sex Offenders, meaning that the majority of those arrested had not previously come to the attention of the police for sex offences. This fact underlines the importance of this police operation co-ordinated by the National Crime Agency.
“In our county, Essex Police has executed 31 search warrants as part of the nationwide operation. These investigations have subsequently resulted in 24 men being arrested on suspicion of the possession of indecent images of children. They all currently remain on police bail pending further enquiries. In total, 20 children have been safeguarded thanks to police activity across Essex.
“An indecent image of a child is an image of a victim of child abuse, and evidence of a crime. Any individual who places indecent images of children online, or accesses them, needs to know that the police will come knocking and will bring you to justice.
“I fully endorse the comments below from a specialist Essex Police officer.”
DI Danny Stoten, of Essex Police, said: “We have been working closely with the National Crime Agency to develop this intelligence and then execute search warrants and make arrests whenever possible. The information provided to us via Notarise has allowed us to pick up a range of suspects who had previously been operating under the radar.
“Offenders need to know that the internet is not a safe anonymous space for accessing indecent images. They leave a digital footprint and we will use all the means at our disposal to find it.
“If anyone has information relating to child sexual exploitation or suspicions that someone is using the internet to access indecent images I would urge them to contact the Essex Police On-line Investigation Team on 101.”