South Yorkshire arrests made in suspected paedophile blitz

David Cameron
David Cameron
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A nationwide swoop on suspected paedophiles has seen 17 people arrested in South Yorkshire.

A total of 660 people were arrested across the country as part of a six-month operation, led by the National Crime Agency.

In South Yorkshire 20 warrants were executed by South Yorkshire Police and 17 arrests made.

One person has been charged with ten offences.

Detective Superintendent Matt Fenwick said: “South Yorkshire Police is committed to tackling child sexual exploitation and protecting vulnerable people.

“We therefore welcomed the opportunity to contribute to this ground-breaking, nationwide operation to target suspected paedophiles.

“Significant investigative work has already taken place and enquiries are ongoing.

“We will continue to work with the NCA and forces throughout the country to identify, locate and apprehend suspected child sex offenders.”

The investigation involved all 45 British police forces and led to 431 children who were in the care of the suspects being safeguarded, including 127 who were at serious risk of harm.

Those held include doctors, teachers and former police officers.

NCA deputy director general Phil Gormley said: “This operation has been about protecting children who are victims of, or might become victims of, sexual exploitation.

“Children are victimised not only when they are abused and the images first taken, but at every subsequent time that image is viewed by further offenders or distributed.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I think what these figures show is that the NCA is now up and running and doing a very good job at bringing all the modern methods of policing and technology together to go after the perpetrators of a particularly horrible crime.

“It’s important these cases are bought to trial and tried fairly, but it’s a good step forward for the NCA and I commend them.”