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Police unit saves 278 from abusers

A record number of children were rescued from paedophiles prowling the internet last year, a specialist police unit has said.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) said it safeguarded 278 youngsters over the past 12 months.

The number was double those helped in the previous period by the unit and the most in one year since it was established in 2006.

Of the children, 47 were identified and found as a result of analysis of images and videos posted online by paedophiles.

Meanwhile 417 suspected child sex offenders were arrested for offences from possessing indecent images to rape.

Jim Gamble, who leads Ceop, said the unit also disrupted the activities of 96 networks sharing images of child abuse.

He said: "Ceop brings together cross-sector expertise and then delivers bespoke frontline services to a whole network of practitioners.

"That is real economy of scale and our results year on year show the very lasting and significant impact we are making."

Home Office crime prevention minister James Brokenshire said: "The Government is committed to protecting children and Ceop plays a vital role which means more children are safeguarded, more offenders are apprehended and more professionals are trained."

The unit's annual review said work continued to build a virtual warehouse housing every child abuse image collected by Ceop.


From Belfast Telegraph