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U.K. Police Set Up Internet Sting to Trap Pedophiles Worldwide

Source: Bloomberg.com
Date: December 18, 2003

British police today put up a Web site, developed with police in other countries, aimed at trapping people worldwide who use the Internet to find child pornography, the U.K. National Crime Squad said in an e-mailed statement.

The site will purport to contain images of child abuse, the statement said. Visitors will be led through several pages, being prompted to withdraw at any time. If they continue, they will be taken to a page informing them the site is run by the police, their actions are a crime and their details have been captured.

"Those viewing or attempting to view this material are committing an offense in the U.K. and if they are abroad they may well also be committing an offense in their own country," Assistant Chief Constable Jim Gamble said in the statement. "Those who search and view online images of child sexual abuse fuel the demand for new pictures and films, contributing to the real-time abuse of many new victims."

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Australia's High-Tech Crime Center and Interpol are among the agencies involved in the sting, called Operation Pin. The crime squad gave no information identifying the Web site.

The U.S. is "ready to exchange leads, intelligence and evidence with our international law enforcement allies in our collective efforts to make the Internet safer," Edward W. Logan of the Homeland Security Department's Law Enforcement and Investigative Bureau said in the statement.

Interpol will share information about pedophiles caught through Operation Pin with the 181 countries whose law enforcement agencies are part of the police organization.

"Those persons who have a sexual interest in children need to be identified, wherever they are, to protect children from abuse," Interpol's Hamish McCullough said in the statement.

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