The National Crime Agency (NCA) announced yesterday that over 660 people, including doctors, teachers, scout leaders, care workers and former police officers, have been arrested on suspicion of accessing child abuse images online.
Only 39 of those arrested are registered sex offenders, with the majority having had no previous contact with the police. In addition, some of those arrested are known to have had access to children, including a grandfather who had access to 17 grandchildren.
The large-scale investigation involved 45 police forces with 833 properties searched and 9,172 computers examined.
NCA Deputy Director General, Phil Gormley, said that many of those arrested had used the “dark net” in order to access the images. The dark net is internet content that is not listed by normal search engines and where users often use virtual currencies to avoid detection.
The main provisions used to prosecute people suspected of accessing indecent images of children are section 1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978 and section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. These make it unlawful for a person to take, distribute, show, possess or publish indecent images of children, including pseudo-images such as computer graphics.
People who possess indecent images may go on to sexually assault children, or may have done so already. If you have been sexually or physically assaulted, a specialist Abuse Lawyer at Slater and Gordon will be happy to help you and to talk about your options in complete confidence.
Molly Whittall specialises in Abuse Claims at Pannone Part of Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.
Slater and Gordon offer a free consultation for victims of sexual or physical abuse. Please call freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and tell us when to call you. Our contact centre is open 24 hours 7 days a week.
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