At least 14 people have been arrested in Lincolnshire as part of an effort to track down suspected paedophiles across the British Isles.
The arrests were made as part of Operation Notarise which aims to target people who are under suspicion of downloading indecent images of children on computers across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
So far, there have been 660 arrests across the British Isles but no charges have yet been brought against those arrested in Lincolnshire and police are not giving out details of those arrested in order to protect the victims’ identities.
Supt Rick Hatton, head of public protection at Lincolnshire Police, said: “We are deliberately not disclosing details of the tactics used to identify offenders.
“By damaging paedophiles’ confidence about operating online, we are letting them and potential abusers know that the internet is not a safe place for them and the digital footprint they leave is one we are committed to following to ensure children are protected from harm.”
Operation Notarise is being run by the National Crime Agency (NCA) which specialises in tackling serious and organised crime.
Anyone convicted of having indecent images of children faces a maximum jail term of five years, while those convicted of making, taking or distributing indecent images could be jailed for up to ten years.
NCA deputy director Phil Gormley said: “Our aim is to protect children who were victims of, or might be at risk of, sexual exploitation, catch people who have already offended and influence potential offenders before they cross that line.