Porn ring `filmed rape of children'

Click to follow
The Independent Online
POLICE SAY they have smash-

ed a suspected national child pornography network in which children have been filmed being raped and sexually assaulted.

Twenty-nine people were arrested yesterday morning following the biggest operation of its kind against videotaped child abuse. Sixty-five properties in 23 police force areas in Britain were searched and 7,500 video tapes were seized in one of the largest co-ordinated operations. Photographs, magazines, computers and floppy discs, were also confiscated.

The police will attempt to identify the children filmed and prosecute the adults who have carried out the abuse. They will study the pictures to establish whether they taken in Britain or abroad.

The operation is understood to have been sparked by the arrest last September of a man who was allegedly distributing child porn videos from London. An investigation, co-ordinated by the Paedophilia Unit at Scotland Yard's organised crime group, was set up.

Detective Chief Inspector Bob McLachlan, who heads the Paedophilia Unit, said: "The countrywide police operation today is the result of an intelligence operation targeted at stemming the trade and the distribution of images created as a consequence of the sexual assault and rape of children.

"Child pornography is the evidence of serious crime and continues the cycle of abuse and revictimisation of children. Today's searches indicate that the users and distributors of this material cross the whole spectrum of society.

"Society quite rightly expects the police to play a significant role in the protection of children. This is achieved through the identification of those responsible for perpetuating the abuse."

Unlike previous nationwide busts yesterday's is believed to have included tapes of film abuse rather than a redistribution of material off the Internet.

Searches, which were timed to all take place at 6.30am, were carried out at 11 addresses in London, with two men in their 30s arrested in connection with inciting the distribution of indecent photographs of children. Fifty four other addresses have been searched in the UK with the largest number of arrests taking place in Hertfordshire where five men were detained.

In the Avon and Somerset area, more than 250 videos were seized in Bath. In Bristol, police seized 150 videos. In Edinburgh computer equipment and videos were seized for further examination. Other forces involved in the operation included West Midlands, Durham, Cleveland, Northumbria, Kent, Devon and Cornwall, Wiltshire, South Wales, Bedfordshire, West Yorkshire, Dorset, Thames Valley, Strathclyde, Tayside, Manchester, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, West Mercia, and Derbyshire.

Comments