Public schools raided in child porn inquiry

Police have raided a suspected national child pornography ring, which could include several teachers. Jason Bennetto, Crime Correspondent, reports on the latest attempt to crackdown on the child sex industry.

Two public schools were among the 15 targets raided by police yesterday as part of a co-ordinated operation involving eight forces.

Videos, computer equipment and letters have been confiscated, and were being checked yesterday to discover whether they contained child pornography.

Three teachers are believed to be involved in the inquiry after a three- year investigation.

The raids in Operation Clarence took place yesterday at 7am. They include one at Durham School and another at the home of a member of staff from the private school. It is understood that videos from the home and school were taken away by the police. There were no arrests.

Sedbergh School in Cumbria was also searched, where videos are believed to have been seized. Cumbria Police confirmed that the officers were there as part of the co-ordinated child pornography investigation. No arrests were made. The school includes former England rugby captain Will Carling among former pupils.

Sedbergh's headmaster, Christopher Hirst, said in a statement: "I can confirm that the police have requested the school's co-operation in certain inquiries they are conducting. It is the school's policy to co-operate fully with the authorities at all times."

The operation was organised by the Metropolitan Police paedophilia unit. Scotland Yard sources denied that there was any link with the raids and the removal earlier this week of videotapes and photographs from the homes and offices of rock star Gary Glitter. The singer was released on bail after being arrested on suspicion of possessing child pornography on his computer.

In London yesterday, officers raided addresses in Cheam, Islington, Croydon, Harrow, and Albany Street in the West End. Material including videotapes, computer equipment and correspondence were seized. The Internet is increasingly being used as a source of illegal sexual pictures. The Scotland Yard spokesman said: "The raids are part of an intelligence- led operation into a suspected child pornography ring."

Videotapes and other material were seized in a raid on an address in Worcester and material was recovered at four private houses in Hampshire.

Merseyside, Wiltshire and Surrey police each searched one address in their respective areas, but nothing was found.

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Reynolds, head of the paedophilia unit, said: "This is a major operation that has been going on for about three years.The fact we have not so far made any arrests does not mean that this operation has not been successful."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss