Nine people have been arrested in Northern Ireland following a week of action against those accessing indecent images of children online.
The joint operation between the National Crime Agency and the Police Service of Northern Ireland has been the result of proactive targeting of potential indecent image offenders.
Officers from both the PSNI and NCA have been involved in a search and arrest operation across Northern Ireland. As well as the nine arrests, steps were taken to safeguard a number of children.
A number of items have been seized for further forensic examination. Those arrested have since been released on bail pending further enquiries.
NCA CEOP Command’s Tony Cook stated: “This is part of an ongoing pro-active operation using a range of investigative techniques to target all forms of child sexual abuse. Our aim is to arrest offenders and protect children who are victims or at risk of sexual exploitation. We want potential offenders to know tackling CSE is a priority for the National Crime Agency, and together with the PSNI, we will use every means available to ensure vulnerable children are protected and you are pursued and brought before the courts.”
Detective Chief Superintendent George Clarke, Head of the PSNI’s Public Protection Branch, said: “This joint operation with NCA is a further illustration of our determination to tackle the issue of child sexual abuse.
“We are working together to ensure we can protect children, apprehend offenders.
“Our message to those who continue to exploit children online is very clear. You leave a digital footprint when you are downloading, viewing, making indecent images of children and both the PSNI and NCA have the capacity, capability and determination to catch you and bring you to justice.”