Most online offenders weren't known to police
A huge police investigation, led by the National Crime Agency, has led to the arrest of almost 700 child abuse image offenders, and the protection of 100s of children.
Operation Notarise was set up 9 months ago to respond to the threat of online abuse and child sexual exploitation in the UK. Since its launch, the NCA and police forces have collaborated to uncover hundreds of offenders unknown to the police.
Jon Brown, NSPCC lead on tackling sexual abuse, said:
"This excellent police work has uncovered a dark underbelly of child abuse crime that, frighteningly, only reveals a part of the picture. The operation clearly shows the vast scale of the problem and the serious risk posed to children by offenders within all elements of society.
"The number of offenders identified in positions of trust – health workers, teachers or in those in caring professions – is deeply disturbing. And equally worrying is the fact that nearly all of those caught were not known to police.
"There is no doubt law enforcement agencies have made major progress in tackling this type of offence, which is ruining the lives of untold numbers of children. But there is still a long way to go and we can only prevent more victims falling prey to sex offenders by remaining committed to tackling this appalling crime and by showing children how to help protect themselves."