Officers working under Operation Galaxy are tasked with working on a variety of cases, one of which is the arrest and detention of suspects we believe to be involved in the possession of indecent images of children.
A specialist team of officers in Humberside Police’s Internet Sex Offenders Team (ISOT) work tirelessly to investigate with the ultimate aim of protecting victims, catching offenders and preventing further offences.
The ISOT is a group of dedicated detectives that deal with the ever growing world of sexual predators.
They deal with those who target children online in order to commit offences against them as well as those offenders who use the web to share indecent images of children.
This is an incredibly serious worldwide problem, which perpetuates the abuse of the youngest and most vulnerable in our society.
ISOT are the link between Humberside Police and CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) and work closely alongside the National Crime Agency (NCA) to gather evidence against offenders in our area and to bring them to justice.
Operation Galaxy has provided extra officers to assist ISOT with daily arrests and searches, this has allowed the team to progress their cases and arrest outstanding suspects more efficiently.
Lockdown has seen, what is an already widespread and growing concern, increase with a rise in cases reported to police.
Easy access to the internet paired with increased time available, has led to more people seeking, viewing and sharing indecent images of children.
So far during Operation Galaxy, police have arrested 14 people from across our region who we suspect of the crime of possessing indecent images of children and 12 children who we believe are victims have been safeguarded by the team.
This is what Detective Constable Rachel Hall said about the work of the ISOT and her work in bringing online sexual offenders to justice.
“A huge amount of work goes on both before and after any suspect is arrested,” she said.
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“By the time an arrest is made a vast amount of evidence and intelligence is gathered on those individuals. Bringing them into custody allows us to secure evidence such as seizing electronic items and question a suspect about the reasons for their arrest.
“Often those arrested are released pending further investigations and not charged immediately as a case has to be comprehensively built and pieced together to the point of submission to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) where charging decisions of suspects are then made.
“Officers also want to make sure the suspects they deal with get help to try and stop them from repeat offending.
“The Lucy Faithful foundation is a starting point for them to get access to counselling and support.
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“The investigations can be lengthy, so we make sure we have regular contact with suspects in order to ensure they are adhering to any bail conditions.”
The intensive action and support of Op Galaxy to the ISOT has meant that more children have been safeguarded and protected and more offenders have been brought to justice.
You can report crime to police by calling 101 or anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
If you are worried about online sexual abuse or the way someone has been communicating with you or a loved one online, there is more information available via the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) command here.
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