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Tuesday, 30 October, 2001, 15:28 GMT
Fourteen held in child porn raids
Scotland Yard
Police say paedophiles cannot hide on the net
Detectives investigating the distribution of child pornography on the internet have arrested 14 people.

They were held after 15 addresses in the UK and the Irish Republic were targeted in dawn raids.

Operation Barcela followed a seven month investigation and involved 11 police forces.

The Metropolitan Police, which led the operation through its Obscene Publications and Internet Unit, said it showed paedophiles could no longer hide behind technology.

This type of crime involves one of the most vulnerable groups in society

Chief Inspector Chris Bradford
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police told BBC News Online four men were being held at a central London police station in connection with alleged offences under the Protection of Children Act 1978.

They include two men aged 28 and 32, who were arrested in Wood Green, north London, and a further two men aged 20 and 23, who were arrested in St John's Wood.

In Dublin a house in the south of the city was searched and a man held for questioning.

Police also seized pornographic computer images.

'Maximum disruption'

The Metropolitan Police spokesman said Operation Barcela demonstrated the determination of police forces across Britain to stop the distribution of indecent images of children.

Chief Inspector Chris Bradford, of its Clubs and Vice Unit, said: "This type of crime involves one of the most vulnerable groups in society and we will take every step we can to protect them.

"Officers in the Obscene Publications and Internet Unit will continue their work in order to cause maximum disruption to those committing this type of crime."

He said police were continuing to work with internet service providers to target paedophiles, adding: "Offenders can no longer hide behind the anonymity of internet technology - we can and will trace and identify you."

  • Police also raided addresses in Devon, Cornwall, Cleveland, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire, Hampshire, Suffolk, Lancashire and the West Midlands.

  • See also:

    10 Aug 01 | UK
    Internet paedophile jailed
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