Six arrests in Staffordshire indecent child image investigation

Six men have been arrested by police investigating indecent images of children in Staffordshire

A 41-year-old man from Lichfield and a 29-year-old man from Cannock are among those suspected of making or possessing an indecent photograph/pseudo-photograph of a child.

They, three men from Stoke-on-Trent and a man from Leek are among six suspects detained as part of Operation Safenet over the last two weeks.

So far none of the suspects have been charged but 37 children were safeguarded after seven warrants were issued, Staffordshire Police said.

Officers also conducted voluntary searches and voluntary interviews.

The Safenet initiative was set up in 2015 in an effort to detect abuse and prosecute offenders by working with forces across the UK and the world..

In the last 12 months, officers have acted on more than 380 referrals, where cases have come in to the Safenet team from agencies and other forces, and safeguarded around 230 children.

Sergeant Chris Hood said: "While the offender may be in Staffordshire, they may be accessing platforms in other countries and are in contact with individuals in different places.

"Some don’t see anything wrong with what they have done, others just look to blame other people, and then you have some who are relieved they got arrested as they know what they have been doing is wrong.

"It can be horrific looking at the images and we do have a buddy system where it’s done in pairs so you have someone to speak to while going through it.

"The fact is the children on the images we see are being abused and by downloading such content it is creating a market and perpetuating these horrific crimes.

"We will continue our work to bring people to justice and work with forces across the globe to target anyone who seeks to exploit children."

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