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102 UK kids saved from paedos

Operation Ore claims success

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UK police reckon they have saved more than 100 children from abuse during a two-year investigation into users of paedophile websites.

As part of Operation Ore, police have investigated 6,500 British people suspected of using a paedophile portal in the US. The operation has so far led to 3,537 arrests, 1,679 prosecutions and 1,230 convictions.

In 102 cases, police discovered evidence that UK children had been abused to produce pornographic images that could be traded online. Suspected perpetrators in these cases have been prosecuted and the children involved have been removed from danger.

Jim Gamble, assistant chief constable of the National Crime Squad, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning: "We are talking about children from two years through to 14-15 years of age who have been abused by individuals, sometimes known to them, sometimes in positions of trust like school teachers."

He described Operation Ore as one of the largest operations ever mounted by UK police, and called for extra police resources to tackle paedophiles.

Senior detectives from throughout England and Wales are attending a one day conference on the progress of Operation Ore today (Wednesday, 14 April). The investigation began here 18 months ago after the FBI turned over the details of more than 7,200 British child porn suspects to UK police. Some of these names were duplicated or referred to people who had died or fled the country, so the final tally of those investigated was somewhat smaller.

The list contains names, addresses and credit card details of UK subscribers to an American child porn aggregator. Members paid £21 a month to Landslide Productions of Forth Worth in Texas, for access to 300 child porn sites.

Around 250,000 people worldwide had paid to access this material.

The list was compiled by the US Postal Service, which busted Landslide in 1999. The raid led to the conviction of Texas computer consultant Thomas Reedy, who ran the site, three years ago on child porn offences. ®

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