Met Raid Nets 40 Child Porn Arrests

Kat Khan
LONDON — More than 40 pedophile suspects have been arrested by Metropolitan Police as the officers continue the crackdown on child pornography abusers.

Three hundred Scotland Yard officers raided 55 street addresses, arresting students, computer programmers, bank workers and real estate agents among others, during an operation aimed at protecting children from pornography predators. Police asked wives and girlfriends to report men they suspected of viewing online child pornography prior to the arrests.

Previously, in 2002, U.K. investigators launched Operation Ore, the U.K.'s largest-ever police hunt against Internet pedophiles, after U.S. investigators discovered Internet users around the world were accessing images of child abuse from a Texas-based website. Through the course of the investigation, more than 7,000 suspects were identified, leading to more than 1,200 convictions of child pornography users.

"Pedophiles have not learnt from Operation Ore. They are still going online to find images of child abuse,” Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Superintendent Peter Spindler, head of the Met's Child Abuse Investigation Command, said.

Spindler said personal computer equipment often is too sophisticated for the Metropolitan Police to deal with, but now, a custom-built forensics van, complete with high-tech scanning devices, is accompanying officers on complex cases. The van is reported to be the first of its kind in Europe.

Metropolitan Police Detective Sergeant Shaun Reardon said even the most advanced online offenders are being caught using the technology.

"With the use of this van, a full evidential package against a person suspected of looking at online child abuse can now be prepared within a day if needed," Reardon said.