Arrests in battle against perverts

Dep Supt Ian Critchley

Dep Supt Ian Critchley

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TWO Fylde coast men have been arrested as part of a massive national crack down on suspected internet paedophiles.

A 52-year-old from Blackpool, was questioned by detectives on suspicion of possessing an indecent image of a child. He was bailed pending further inquiries.

A 51-year-old man, from Thornton, was arrested on suspicion of attempting to meet a child from the Blackburn area after grooming them. He was also bailed.

The arrests came as nine people in Lancashire were arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday as police launched a national clamp down on online sex abuse involving children.

Officers from Lancashire Police joined other forces to target people suspected of making, possessing or distributing indecent images of children.

They worked with the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) as they seized computers and other evidence during two days of action.

And protecting vulnerable children is a massive priority according to Det Sup Int Ian Critchley, head of public protection in the county.

He said: “Each indecent image of a young person identifies at least one child that has been abused.

“We arrested more than 180 people in Lancashire last year after identifying users of websites which carry such abhorrent images.

“Examination of computers often highlights the fact offenders have gone on to distribute indecent images to others, spreading the abuse.

“These raids show our ongoing commitment to tackling this issue.”

Across the country, 76 people, including a retired teacher, a scout master and a firefighter were arrested as officers from 40 forces swooped in pre-planned raids.

In Lancashire, there has been a big focus on online safety as live web sessions were held in schools for children to quiz a panel of experts.

Dep Sup Critchley added: “Protecting young people is a priority.

“We will ensure individuals who view, possess and distribute indecent images of children are brought to justice.

“There are significant consequences for offenders and this should act as a warning for the public when considering viewing indecent images.”

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