Eight suspected paedophiles in Northamptonshire have been arrested as part of a six-month operation targeting people accessing child abuse images online.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) has led an nationwide operation involving 45 police forces targeting suspected child abusers and a total of 660 arrests have been made across the country
The majority of those arrested have no previous contact with police and include doctors, teachers, scout leaders, care workers and former police officers.
Charges brought against some of the people arrested include possessing indecent images of children and serious sexual assault.
NCA Deputy Director General Phil Gormley said: “This is the first time the UK has had the capability to coordinate a single targeted operation of this nature. Over the past six months we have seen unprecedented levels of cooperation to deliver this result.
“Our aim was to protect children who were victims of, or might be at risk of, sexual exploitation. A child is victimised not only when they are abused and an image is taken. They are re-victimised every time that image is viewed by someone.
“Some of the people who start by accessing indecent images online go on to abuse children directly. So the operation is not only about catching people who have already offended – it is about influencing potential offenders before they cross that line
“We want those offenders to know that the internet is not a safe anonymous space for accessing indecent images, that they leave a digital footprint, and that law enforcement will find it”.