Tuesday, March 27, 2001. 5:40 p.m. ET

Associated Press

U.K. Cops Raid Internet Pedophiles

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Police forces around Britain staged coordinated raids on the homes of suspected pedophiles Tuesday, arresting 33 people.

Greater Manchester Police led the nationwide operation, which focused on people believed to be using the Internet to distribute and store indecent images of children.

Officers raided 45 addresses at 7 a.m. in an operation capping a four-month investigation, Greater Manchester Police said. Thirty-three people were arrested by the 25 participating forces. The arrested included a 13-year-old boy, a psychiatric nurse and a youth worker.

Computer equipment was also seized at several locations.

More than 40 warrants were issued before the raid, and the arrest total was expected to rise. Suspects were identified using a specially tailored software that monitors Internet chat rooms and traces their often-anonymous users.

"What we have done today is send a message to people who use the Internet for exchanging indecent images of children," said Med Hughes, assistant chief constable of Greater Manchester Police.

We have the tools to monitor their behavior. We are going to use them and we are going to come after them."

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Created: March 30, 2001
Last modified: September 1, 2001
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