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"Operation Shelter": Sex exploitation network in Newcastle

They exploited some of Tyneside’s most vulnerable girls and young women for sex.  But now these predators have now been brought to justic...

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mercoledì 12 luglio 2017

"Operation Safenet": more than 100 paedophiles caught by Police

Police have caught more than 100 paedophiles in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire since launching an online child abuse crackdown.

"Operation Safenet" was set up two years ago to target perverts accessing indecent images of children or using the internet to prey on vulnerable youngsters.

Now new figures show 106 offenders have been convicted with a further 58 suspects still under investigation.

Among those caught include:

Paul Harrison who had sex with an underage girl in two city parks after he befriended her on Facebook. The 24-year-old, of Leek, met the teenager around 10 times in either Fenton Park or Smithpool Park and engaged in sexual conduct on 'seven or eight' of those occasions. Harrison was jailed for three years and nine months after admitting seven sexual offences. 

Dad-of-two Beniam Tsegay who arranged to meet a 14-year-old for sex only to be confronted by a Potteries paedophile hunter. The 37-year-old was exposed after footage of the meeting outside Hanley's intu Potteries shopping centre was seen by thousands of people on the internet. Tsegay – who lived in Hanley and had come to Britain as an asylum seeker – was jailed for 16 months after pleading guilty to attempting to groom a child. 

Robert Oliver who had unprotected sex with a child after meeting her on Facebook. The 23-year-old told encouraged the schoolgirl to send him intimate photographs of herself and he sent pictures of his private parts to her. Oliver then pressed his victim into meeting before taking her to a house to have sex. Officers also found 100 indecent images of children. The defendant, of Burslem, was jailed for 32 months after pleading guilty to sexual activity to a child and other offences. 

Mark Kirby who pleaded for help from the courts after becoming 'addicted' to child pornography. Police discovered hundreds of child porn images and 29 movies when they raided the 30-year-old's Leek home. He was handed a three-year community order after admitting possessing and making indecent images of children. 

Andrew Waring, from Tunstall, who downloaded more than 2,000 indecent images of children on his phones and computer. Police seized the equipment after raiding the 50-year-old's home in Bentilee. He was handed a three-year community order after admitting 13 offences of making indecent photographs of a child. 

Operation Safenet uses technology to identify where illegal images are being viewed before applying to a magistrate for a search warrant to allow the police and digital forensic experts to raid the home address to seize evidence and make an arrest.

Since its creation in July 2015, Staffordshire Police have been involved in 532 incidents, made up of criminal investigations, intelligence gathering and safeguarding.

These have led to 168 arrests, with an additional 41 suspects being interviewed under police caution. In total, officers have obtained 183 warrants from courts across the county.
DS Steve Chadwick, from the team, said: "The investigations have led to 106 offenders being convicted with offences against children with a further 58 suspects still being currently investigated.
"My officers have gained significant skills in this area of policing and working with digital forensic experts and the Crown Prosecution Service have been able to present evidence to such a standard that we have achieved a 100 per cent conviction rate at court.
"The efforts of my officers have also identified 75 suspected offenders who reside out of Staffordshire with this information being passed to colleagues to action.
"Whilst we hope these figures reassure the public that those individuals who pose a risk to children are being rooted out and held to account, without doubt the most important aspect of this work are the children who have been safeguarded as a result of our proactive approach.
"Of those suspects dealt with, 275 children were identified as being in direct contact with the suspect and were therefore referred to children's services. What we cannot measure, but equally as important, are those children that we have prevented from becoming future victims."
Children's charities today praised the work of Operation Safenet.
An NSPCC spokesman said: "We welcome any innovation that can speed up the process in these complex investigations."
Anyone with concerns about a young person, or to report a crime, call Staffordshire Police on 101.



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