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By Tim Clarke 15/06 Updated: 15/06 10:35
A MAN has been arrested in Worcester as part a nationwide police operation targeting known and suspected child sex offenders.
A 21-year-old man was arrested on Thursday morning (June 14) on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children and remains in police custody.
Operation Tharsley was a joint operation co-ordinated by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre between police forces and officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), in a bid to crack down on people thought to be in possession of child abuse images.
West Mercia Police also arrested a 57-year-old man in Donnington, Telford on Wednesday (June 13) on suspicion of inciting children to engage in sexual activity and also accessing indecent images of children on the internet. He has been released on police bail pending further inquiries.
Computers and mobile phones were seized from both the Worcester and Telford addresses. The suspects were identified as a result of intelligence received directly from CEOP as well as from investigations conducted locally.
Detective Superintendent Martin Lakeman, who is in charge of Public Protection at West Mercia Police, said: "Our support to this national operation reaffirms West Mercia Police's commitment to the investigation of individuals who are in possession of indecent images of children.
"West Mercia Police works on a daily basis with our partner agencies to safeguard children from harm and the investigation of these types of offences is a principle aim for all the agencies who form part of our Safeguarding Children's Boards.
"It's our intention to keep targeting those that take, possess and distribute indecent images of children and bring them before the courts.
"I would also urge parents to encourage their children to tell them about inappropriate contact on the internet that makes them feel uncomfortable. Offensive images or messages can be reported to the police via the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre website at www.ceop.gov.uk/reportabuse
Andy Baker, Deputy Chief Executive of CEOP, said: "It is clear that those who possess indecent images also pose a significant risk to children and understanding and managing that risk is not an easy undertaking.
"However, when we bring together the latest intelligence picture, nationally coordinated police action and operational support from our colleagues in SOCA, we are making the UK a more hostile place for those who are seeking to exploit our children."
"These arrests show once again how law enforcement is becoming increasingly coordinated, sophisticated and innovative in targeting those who commit these crimes."
To find out more about how you can keep your child safe visit www.westmercia.police.uk/e-safety/
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