POLICE SCOTLAND’S national operation to tackle online child sexual abuse, Pictured are NSPCC’s Joanna Barrett, Assistant chief constable Malcolm Graham and early years minister Mark McDonald
Homes searched and arrest made in police operation
Two homes in the region were searched and one person has been charged in a major anti-paedophile operation by police.
Detectives have uncovered more than 30 million indecent images on mobile phones and computers seized during Operation Lattise, a nationwide six-week inquiry launched by Police Scotland in June.
Across the country, the force has referred 122 youngsters to child protection services and charged 83 people with 390 offences ranging from rape to sexual extortion, sharing indecent images and online grooming.
The investigation is expected to uncover further offences and victims.
Police in Dumfries confirmed yesterday that two addresses in the region have been searched, 23 devices including computers and phones have been examined and so far, one person has been arrested and charged.
Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham said: “This is not sexting in terms of people sending abusive messages to each other. This is children being sexually abused and these images being shared.
“It is about real victims in Scotland and elsewhere. It’s about these horrific acts which ruin people’s lives and we need to make sure that stops.”
He added: “Let me make it clear. Child sexual abuse and exploitation, which can range from sharing images depicting the rape, sexual torture or assault of a child to grooming or sexually extorting a child takes place solely because of decisions made on the part of the abuser.
“Online child sexual abuse is not a victimless crime: children, from toddlers to teenagers, are being sexually abused and exploited now in Scotland and when an image or video clip is shared or viewed, they are being re-victimised.”
Joanna Barrett, NSPCC Scotland Policy and Public Affairs Manager, added: “We are increasingly concerned about the harm caused to children through online activity.
“Too many children are exposed to dangerous and harmful content through the internet, or are subjected to online harassment, grooming, and sexual exploitation.” dailyrecord