U.K. Crime Agency Arrests 660 Child Porn Suspects in Web Probe

The U.K. National Crime Agency arrested 660 suspected pedophiles as a result of a six-month operation targeting people who viewed child abuse images online.

Some of those arrested were teachers, doctors, scout leaders and care workers who worked with children, the NCA said in a statement. People who access indecent images may go on to abuse minors, said Phil Gormley, the NCA deputy director general.

“We want those offenders to know that the Internet is not a safe anonymous space for accessing indecent images, that they leave a digital footprint, and that law enforcement will find it,” he said.

The U.K. has been rocked by abuse scandals since allegations that the late BBC host and disc jockey Jimmy Savile molested hundreds of children during his career. Television star Rolf Harris was jailed this month on charges he assaulted girls as young as seven, while Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to leave “no stone unturned” in a probe into possible sex offenses at children’s homes and hospitals.

“Police forces all over the world are cooperating on an unprecedented scale in pursuit of online child sex offenders and they are deploying technical tools to track them down with ever greater effectiveness,” John Carr, secretary of the Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety, said in the NCA statement.

The U.K. National Crime Agency was established in 2013 to deal with serious offending, including gangs, fraud and cybercrime.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kit Chellel in London at cchellel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net Andrew Atkinson

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