A POLICE detective has vowed to carry out a “crusade” to track down and bring to justice monsters who download sick images of children.
Paedophiles living within the Spalding area have been warned: “Expect that knock on your door. We are coming to get you. There is no place to hide.”
DS Paul Hutchins, who is in charge of the online investigation team responsible for tracking down the criminals who view, download and distribute indecent pictures of children, says he has made his mission to bring as many paedophiles to justice as possible and enable children to sleep soundly in their beds without fear of abuse.
And DS Hutchins’ actions do speak as loud as his words.
Although his team was only set up at the beginning of the year, there has already been a noticeable surge in cases before the courts.
Most weeks Spalding magistrates alone can expect to hear two or three such cases.
DS Hutchins said: “This problem is no worse here in Spalding than anywhere else, but we now have a dedicated team which is very actively searching them out.
“So, if anyone out there is involved in these crimes, my message to you is ‘expect a visit soon’.
“Obviously, there are still people doing it that we don’t know about but eventually they will come to our attention one way or another and at that point we will be knocking at their doors.”
DS Hutchins has spent most of his career at Lincolshire police, mainly in CID investigating a whole range of serious crime, including murder, manslaughter and rape.
But he says the nine months since the online investigation team was launched has “opened his eyes” and says some of the child abuse cases he has been investigating are “up there with the worst of them”.
He said: “If I had my way these people would be named and shamed publicly, but that is not possible, so I am on a crusade, with a team of five detectives and a support unit behind me, to bring these people to justice.
“What I have seen during these investigations has made me more determined to come to work every day to arrest someone and know that I have removed one more possible threat to children.”
And it’s the threat to children that is at the very heart of what the online investigation team is about.
One of DS Hutchins’ biggest concerns is that horrific stories of paedophiles who have viewed pornographic images of children eventually become commonplace and as a result people become hardened to the horrors.
He says that for every arrest they make, and every image they recover, there is a child somewhere who has been a victim of abuse.
He said: “We have seen children as young as six months being abused for these images, and we are talking thousands of images in some cases.
“It is my mission to catch as many of these people as I can so the children of Spalding and Lincolnshire can sleep soundly in their beds at night.”