Posted: Mon 7th Nov 2016

North Wales Police launch ‘Operation Net Safe’ aimed at stopping online child sex abuse

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Nov 7th, 2016

Police join forces to target those in Wales who view, possess and distribute sexual abuse image.

North Wales police along with the other three Welsh forces have launched ‘Operation Net Safe’ today aimed at safeguarding children by detecting abuse and prosecuting offenders for the possession and distribution of indecent images of children online. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Those viewing sexually explicit images of children are being warned that the next knock at their door could be officers from a new team set up to keep children safe from harm. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The approach brings together police officers and highly skilled digital forensics staff, to proactively seek out those using the internet to view and exchange these images in Wales. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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Each week the specialist, dedicated teams use the latest digital investigative techniques to identify where in Wales illegal images are being viewed, before using the intelligence to apply to a magistrate for a search warrant to allow the police and digital forensic experts to raid a home, seize evidence and arrest those involved. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

As part of the operation, Police are working closely with child protection charity, the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, whose Stop it Now! Campaign directs offenders, potential offenders, and their concerned loved ones to a confidential and anonymous helpline, and self-help resources to enable them to proactively address their behaviour. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Donald Findlater, Safeguarding Consultant at the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, said:

“As a child protection charity, we believe it is for all adults across Wales to keep children safe from abuse. Online risks to children are most definitely increasing and our strategies to tackle them need to keep pace. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“As far as we can tell, there are hundreds, possibly thousands of people across Wales – mostly men – viewing sexual images of children online. These are mostly images of children and young people who are being abused. This behaviour is illegal, whether the viewers realise it or not. Many will have landed on this material after months or years looking at legal, adult pornography. Others will be paedophiles. Whoever they are, I urge them to stop their illegal behaviour and get the help they need to stay stopped. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The Stop it Now! confidential helpline has worked with thousands of such men since 2002. And as well as a confidential helpline – 0808 1000 900 – we have created self-help materials for these men, and their families, that can also be accessed confidentially.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Confidential information and advice is also available from Lucy Faithfull Foundation’s Stop it Now! website, www.stopitnow.org.uk, or help@stopitnow.org.uk ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​


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