15 people have been arrested in the last three weeks as part of a targeted forcewide operation to tackle online sex offences.
Detectives from the Internet Sex Offenders Team (ISOT) have been busy gathering evidence and making arrests to help protect our communities.
As part of this targeted operation, the teams have been out seizing digital devices, making arrests and conducting interviews to help further investigations.
Their work isn’t done there though, as they continue to work tirelessly to uncover every shred of evidence to help build up strong cases to put before the courts.
Inspector Jayne Goodens said:
“My team deal with some of the most serious online offences, crimes that have a long-lasting and in some cases devastating impact on their often vulnerable victims.
“This has been a really successful few weeks for my team with arrests and voluntary interviews enabling us to progress a number of our ongoing investigations, helping us to protect children and other vulnerable victims.
“With smartphones and tablet computers more popular than ever, online crime is something that we do see more of than we historically have and we have specially trained teams to deal with all types of online crime.
“We work diligently to gather every bit of evidence available, in what are generally incredibly complex cases often with victims and offenders in different parts of the country.
“It is not an easy job, but all of the challenging days are worth it when we can secure a conviction, preventing further offences and getting justice for a victim.
“To anyone intent on committing an offence of this nature, I want to be really clear, you cannot hide behind your computer and keyboard. We will find out what you are doing, and we will do everything we can to put an end to your offending, working with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to put you before the courts.
“To the victims of these horrid crimes, please know that we can help you. Please give us a call and tell us what has happened.
“We have specially trained officers who will listen to your story and support you throughout the investigative and court proceedings.
“You can report a crime to us by calling our non-emergency 101 number or anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.”
If you are worried about online sexual abuse or the way someone has been communicating with you or a loved one online, there is more information available via the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) command at: https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/