Police snare 68 in online abuse drive

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Police in Derbyshire have prosecuted nearly 70 offenders as part of an on-going crackdown on web-based child abuse in the county.

Early in 2013 the force established a dedicated team of highly-skilled officers to use the latest technology and techniques to target those involved in indecent images of children online, a spokesman said.

Since then, a total of 68 offenders have been prosecuted for indecent images offences, with more than 40 investigations still on-going.

The revelation comes as the National Crime Agency released statistics for Operation Notarise – a nationwide campaign that has been running for the last six months.

Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Meadows, who leads the force’s child sexual exploitation unit, said: “Since it launched, we have been fully engaged with Operation Notarise, which has been led by the National Crime Agency.

“We recognise that for every image that is sold, shared or distributed on the internet, a child somewhere in the world has been subjected to abuse.

“We tackle this daily and along with local, national and international partners work to identity victims and bring to justice those involved.”

“People with such images on their computers commonly perceive it as a secret crime for which they will not be caught, and they seem to ignore the sickening offending that has to take place to support their perverted and criminal interest.”