Force pledges action on child porn

By Roddy AshworthTHE campaign against child pornography and child abuse will continue despite the conclusion of Operation Ore, a senior police officer has pledged.

By Roddy Ashworth

THE campaign against child pornography and child abuse will continue despite the conclusion of Operation Ore, a senior police officer has pledged.

Operation Ore began in September last year when FBI intelligence concerning access to illicit websites was passed to the British authorities.

Essex Police have made 154 arrests as part of Operation Ore, a major international crackdown on indecent images of children being exchanged online.


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The 152 men and two women were arrested on suspicion of offences ranging from making and possessing child pornography to distributing child pornography.

Police said 11 people had been convicted so far, with sentences ranging from 18 months' imprisonment to rehabilitation orders aimed at reducing offender risk.

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Fourteen people have been cautioned and 12 people have been released without charge. All of those convicted or cautioned have been placed on the Sex Offenders' Register.

The remaining arrested people are now awaiting court appearances or a decision from the Crown Prosecution Service on whether there is sufficient evidence for a prosecution.

Fifty officers were working on the inquiry into Operation Ore, under the supervision of the Essex Police's child protection unit.

Detective Chief Inspector Roy Fenning, head of the child protection unit, said: “We believe we have sent a deterrent message to people who engage in this type of child abuse.

“They may not have had direct intimate contact with children, but their use of illicit internet services encourages and funds a market in this vile trade.

“Although Operation Ore has come to a conclusion, Essex Police will continue to act with determination wherever there is evidence of any form of child abuse.”

roddy.ashworth@eadt.co.uk

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