Week of action targeting sexual predators leads to eight arrests and 21 children safeguarded

Date published: 14 April 2024

Greater Manchester Police's teams responsible for tackling online child sexual abuse and managing sex offenders in the community took part in a dedicated week of action between 25 and 31 March 2024.

GMP worked alongside partners and with support from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation; the only UK-wide child protection charity dedicated solely to preventing child sexual abuse.

During the week, GMP officers:

  • Executed five warrants and made eight arrests – including getting one individual remanded into custody due to breaching an existing Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
  • Safeguarded 21 children and submitted five care plans, meaning these children have been protected, and they and their families will be supported by GMP and other partner agencies to ensure they don’t come to further harm.
  • Completed a total of 232 visits and bail compliance checks to managed sex offenders across Greater Manchester.
  • Recorded two further disclosures of abuse, and identified two other, unrelated crimes committed such as possession of class B drugs.
  • Seized 54 devices including mobiles, tablets, and computers, which are now with our digital forensic experts for further examination.

The week of action is a continuation of ongoing efforts and improvements being made within GMP's Online Child Abuse Investigation Team (OCAIT) and Sex Offender Management Units.

Detective Constable Martin James from the  OCAIT unit said, “During this week of action, we put pressure on those intent on harming children online or within the community, demonstrating there is nowhere for them to hide.

“There were a number of calls into the Lucy Faithfull Foundation’s ‘Stop It Now’ confidential hotline from the Greater Manchester area during the week. This hotline is for reporting concerns about online sexual abuse, with the foundation playing a role in assisting us act where abuse is discovered.

“Everyday our team’s focus is protecting children from harm and ensuring offenders are brought to justice, and I want to stress that we do not wait for weeks of action to undertake our duties.

“Our investigations into the offences identified during this week are underway, and the victims will be supported throughout. Trawling through these devices can be time consuming and difficult viewing, but we are committed to building the strongest possible cases to present to the CPS, to ensure those committing offences are unable to continue.”

Anyone worried about their own or a loved one’s online behaviour should seek support from the confidential Stop it Now! Helpline ran by Lucy Faithfull on 0808 1000 900 or by visiting www.stopitnow.org.uk or the Lucy Faithfull Foundation web site.

You can report offences to GMP by dialling 101 or via the LiveChat function on our website www.gmp.police.uk. Emergencies should be reported by calling 999.

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