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Operation Safenet

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#OpSafenet is a policing operation involving four police forces in the West Midlands targeting suspected paedophiles operating online.

Children Safeguarded in West Mercia #OpSafenet
Children Safeguarded in West Mercia #OpSafenet

People Arrested in West Mercia #OpSafenet
People Arrested in West Mercia #OpSafenet

West Mercia Police is warning people viewing sexually explicit images of children online that they are being pursued by officers from a dedicated team set up to protect children from harm.

Operation Safenet has been launched by police with the aim of safeguarding children by detecting abuse and prosecuting offenders for the possession and distribution of indecent images of children.  

Police officers and highly skilled digital forensics staff are proactively tracking people in Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire who are using the internet to view and exchange these images.

The team use the latest digital investigative techniques to identify where illegal images are being viewed. Using this intelligence an application will be made to a magistrate for a search warrant, allowing the police and digital forensic experts to seize evidence from the home and arrest those involved.  This triage approach to the evidence means police can immediately take action to prevent further offences and importantly take action to protect any children at risk.

If you have concerns about a child or young person, or if you are a child or young person and someone has asked you to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable either on or offline, you can report through the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) safety centre at www.ceop.police.uk

The Lucy Faithfull Foundation is a registered child protection charity dedicated to reducing the risk of children being sexually abused. It works with entire families affected by sexual abuse, including adult male and female sexual abusers, young people with inappropriate sexual behaviours, victims of abuse and other family members. More information for adults concerned about their own behaviour, or that of someone they know, is available from http://www.stopitnow.org.uk/

Recent operational updates

  • The Operation Safenet team obtained and executed a search warrant at a home in Shrewsbury where it was suspected the occupant had accessed indecent images of children.  A 50-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession of indecent images of children.
     
  • The Operation Safenet team obtained and executed a search warrant at a home in Hereford where it was suspected the occupant had accessed indecent images of children.  A 53-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession of indecent images of children.