Hampshire Constabulary supported a nation-wide operation this week to target people suspected of possessing and sharing indecent images of children in Operation Tharsley.
On the morning of Wednesday, June 13th, officers executed four warrants at homes in Hampshire as part of a series of raids by police across the country.
A similar operation in September 2011 resulted in the arrests of 17 men across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Officers executed warrants at addresses from Farnborough to Freshwater in Operation Trinity.
Operation Tharsley was co-ordinated by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) centre.
Four men were arrested on suspicion of distributing indecent images of children:
· A 54-year-old man from Gosport
· A 43-year-old man from Waterlooville
· A 55-year-old man from Petersfield
· A 49-year-old man from Chandlers Ford
The warrants involved a total of 25 officers from Hampshire Constabulary’s Public Protection and other specialist departments and were led by the Paedophile and Online Investigation Team.
Head of the POLIT Detective Inspector Victoria Dennis said: “The joined up approach of police across the country is a warning to anyone who thinks that they can get away with taking, viewing, downloading or distributing indecent images of children.
“Every image is evidence that a child somewhere in the world is suffering abuse. Sharing these images and encouraging others to abuse children is a crime.
“This is an international problem and it’s important that local police forces work together with national and international agencies to address it.
“Hampshire Constabulary is dedicated to protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities and is investing significantly into a modern and well-resourced Public Protection Department.
“My officers work tirelessly to safeguard children by identifying and arresting suspects, examining computer and other data storage equipment and bringing offenders to justice.
“If you’ve been involved in this type of offence, whether as a victim or an offender, you can seek help. If you’ve been the victim of abuse, speak to police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.
“If you have concerns or suspicions about someone you believe is abusing children or sharing indecent images, you can call police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.”
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