Police arrest paedophiles and seize electronics

Thirty one people were arrested in March as Thames Valley Police continues to combat online child sexual abuse.

Officers from the force’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT), have been carrying out the warrants at addresses across the Thames Valley area.

They have been arresting people who are believed to be involved in online child sexual abuse and seized items from their homes.

More than 270 items were gathered for evidence, including USB sticks and laptops.

Thirty two children have been safeguarded as a result of the police investigation.

In the past 12 months referrals to the Force from the National Crime Agency rose by 93%.

Detective Inspector Jon Axford, of the POLIT team, said: “During the first lockdown last year, there was a well-documented rise in this sort of offending.

“Sadly, we know that there are a number of criminals out there who have tried to take the opportunity afforded to them by the fact that more people are online to sexually exploit children.

“These offenders come from a variety of different backgrounds and situations. Many of them have families of their own, who have no idea whatsoever as to their offending.”

“The message is clear – if you are online abusing or grooming children, you will be caught, you will go on the Sex Offenders’ Register, and you may go to prison.

“You could lose your job, your friends and your family and have to live with the stigma of your offending for the rest of your life.”

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