Shropshire Star

Telford man arrested over child sex images as youngster referred over explicit video upload

A man was arrested on suspicion of sharing indecent images of children and a referral was made after a youngster uploaded a sexual video.

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It came as police in Shropshire were involved in a crackdown ahead of National Child Exploitation Awareness Day, which is today.

On Monday officers attended a property in the county for a safeguarding case involving a child who was uploading videos onto a social media platform.

Police said that upon arrival it was clear that the child’s mother was aware of the video and had made attempts to delete it. Devices were all checked by West Mercia Police's digital forensic officers using the latest software designed to detect child sexual abuse material.

No illegal content was found, and safeguarding advice was given to the mother along with family members. Further information about the child’s family was obtained and a referral was made to children services.

The following day a Telford man was arrested on suspicion of possessing and distributing indecent images of children.

Devices were seized and upon examination, deleted content was identified and was retrieved by digital forensic officers. Further enquiries around the volume and nature of images were held and victim identification work will now be required.

Regional officers also investigated a case along with police colleagues in the Republic of Ireland where a 13-year-old boy was suspected to be sending indecent images to an 11-year-old boy. The investigation confirmed nothing sinister was taking place and safeguarding advice was given to the family, including the responsibility for parents to supervise what their children are looking at using phones, tablets, computers as well as games consoles.

A Stourport man was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of possession and distribution of child sexual abuse material. He was bailed for further enquiries and for the examination of devices seized.

Detective Inspector Matt McNelis said: “West Mercia Police prioritise the investigation of child sexual exploitation and abuse in all its forms and have invested heavily in specialised teams of detectives who seek to leverage the latest technological advances to target sex offenders to keep children safe.

“As this snapshot of our operational activity this week shows, every member of our communities across the counties the force covers needs to be aware of the growing online threat to children so we can be more aware and protect the most vulnerable.”

Anyone who needs help relating to child sexual images can get anonymous and confidential help from Stop it Now! by calling 0808 1000 900.

Anyone who has been a victim of online child sexual abuse, or is worried they could become a victim, can call 101 or visit the West Mercia Police's Report page on its website.

If you do not wish to speak to police you can contact Childline anonymously on 0800 1111, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, also anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Always dial 999 in an emergency.

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