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British police carried out a series of dawn raids yesterday in the UK's biggest crackdown on Internet paedophiles.

Twenty-seven people including teachers and those from the medical profession were held following raids by officers from 34 forces.

Several people were arrested - the youngest just 15 years old.

Computer equipment was seized as part of the raids.
Those targeted by Operation Magenta were targeted using software developed by filtering outfit SurfControl.

Inspector Keith Tilley, Head of Hertfordshire Constabulary's Child Protection and Investigation Unit, said: "Today's nation-wide operation should send out a loud message to those people who use chat rooms to trade in indecent images of children.

"This activity is unlawful and is committed by people who often go on to commit further offences of abuse against vulnerable children.

"Hertfordshire, along with other forces, will continue to work to identify and track down those individuals who believe the Internet gives them anonymity to continue their trade in abusive images of children.

"This is not the case and further operations like today's will take place in the future," he said.

Earlier this week 25 members of a Net child porn ring were arrested in an operation led by police in Denmark. ®

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