back to article British cops cuff 660 suspected paedophiles

Hundreds of suspected paedophiles have been arrested by UK police following a six-month-long operation. The majority of cases have yet to carry charges, the National Crime Agency said. The charge sheet so far ranges from possessing indecent images of children to serious sexual assault. The NCA added it had manacled 660 people …

Page:

  1. Suricou Raven

    "Additionally, Google has developed a hashing technology for YouTube that places a unique ID mark on illegal child abuse vids. Once a copy is spotted on the service, all other copies are then apparently removed from the web."

    ie, they repurposed their copyright enforcement code.

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Does that mean they continue to publish the watermarked version?

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        It means all videos get a unique id

        When a video is identified as child abuse, Google and Microsoft can remove it from any server they control and remove it from search results.

    2. auburnman
      Mushroom

      Devil's Advocate...

      Isn't having CP in your possession strict liability, i.e. someone else put it there is no defence? If Google have such content on UK servers plod are surely duty bound to get cuffing Google employees...

      1. John Bailey

        Re: Devil's Advocate...

        "Isn't having CP in your possession strict liability, i.e. someone else put it there is no defence? If Google have such content on UK servers plod are surely duty bound to get cuffing Google employees..."

        No.

        Safe harbour rules. Google do not check each and every Youtube upload, so can not be held responsible if illegal content turns up through the actions of a service user. And so long as they remove it when informed, no foul on their part.

        1. Ejit

          Re: Devil's Advocate...

          As the DMCA is US legislation perhaps you might care to point to the enabling UK legislation that allows Google "Safe Harbor (Harbour)" in the UK. The equivalent EU arrangement is only in respect of personal data.

          I would not think that Google can rely upon the 2007 Viacom v Google case outside the US.

  2. James Micallef Silver badge

    Good work

    People who are really into producing and distributing kiddie-porn should be locked up for a long, long time. However I hope that anyone nabbed for "possessing indecent images of children" was done for actually indecent images, not for pics of their nekkid nephews/nieces playing in the bath, sketches/drawings in which age is ambiguous/indeterminate etc

    1. Lamont Cranston

      Re: Good work

      Is your downvoter a) pro kiddie porn, or b) anti family photos?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good work

        Maybe the downvoters realised it was unlikely police have swooped on 600 odd people who have been downloading their own family photos from the "dark web".

        1. Crisp Silver badge

          Re: unlikely

          But not unheard of. Wasn't there a morning TV presenter that got done by the police for that?

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. N2 Silver badge

      Re: Good work

      Agreed, Id have those found guilty castrated & locked up for a long time, the problem is sentences arn't tough enough to stop this proliferating

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: N2

        By that logic, capital punishment should have stopped any crimes it was used to punish throughout history.

        Hint: It didn't. It didn't even stop theft.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: N2

          "Hint: It didn't. It didn't even stop theft."

          But it did lower re-offending rates I believe.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good work

        >castrated

        and what about the female paedophiles?

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Good work

          "and what about the female paedophiles?"

          Bunged up?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good work

      Recently in Australia somebody was successfully prosecuted for having a cartoon image of the Simpsons family having sex. Bad taste certainly, but certainly no children involved. The hype about pedophilia is a bit worrying.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good work

      I remember Julia Somerville, at that time a household name newsreader, getting arrested for having photos of her child in the bath developed at Boots the Chemist.

      1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: Good work

        At which time the Boots instore advert for photo processing was a life size free standing cardboard cut-out of a child, seen from behind. A naked child.

        Somerville was shopped by a presumably hypocritical Boots employee, and her arrest details were flogged to the press by a Metropolitan police officer.

  3. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    See ...

    We *needed* those emergency powers ....

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      Re: See ...

      Am I the only one who wonders about the coincidence of timing:

      * government rushes through act for preservation of snooping powers. Ministers cite dangers to this country from terrorism and paedophiles.

      * last week there were increased restrictions of mobile phones, etc, on flights to the USA

      * today 660 suspected paedophiles were arrested after a 6 month operation

      Just what was needed to ensure that the act sailed though Parliament!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: See ...

        The act was sailing through parliament anyway and nothing was going to stop that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: See ...

          The act was sailing through parliament anyway and nothing was going to stop that.

          But this will placate the Daily Fail readers who otherwise would be outraged - now they will have mind turned away from the loss of privacy angle to screaming about paedophiles in stead.

      2. Anonymous Coward 101

        Re: See ...

        Given the arrests were made using existing powers, I fail to see what they have to do with the new powers?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: See ...

          "Given the arrests were made using existing powers, I fail to see what they have to do with the new powers?"

          I'm guessing you are American right?

          *hint*

          Sarcasm

      3. 2+2=5 Silver badge

        Re: See ...

        Alain, Are you suggesting that the chief constables had a little chat with Cameron along the lines of: "We're about to arrest 660 paedos but we're worried that they'll all get off on a technicality because of this EU judges decision thingy last April. I'm pretty sure May promised us some new legislation just to make certain, but nothing seems to have happened yet. Could you see you way clear to doing something a little sooner? I have a draft white paper here that your chaps could use to get going, so to speak. I've taken the liberty of running it past GCHQ and MI6 and they're on-board with some useful feedback. (In fact they sent their feedback before I even emailed the draft to them.) MI5 of course won't listen to ideas coming 'up through the ranks' but I think they're covered. Anyway, there it is. If you could have a word with May, that would be super...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: See ...

          In fact they sent their feedback before I even emailed the draft to them

          I saw what you did there (and so did they) :)

      4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        Re: See ...

        "Am I the only one who wonders about the coincidence of timing:

        * government rushes through act for preservation of snooping powers. Ministers cite dangers to this country from terrorism and paedophiles."

        Indeed an astonishing coordinated campagn.

        Proving the "need" for such spying.

        1. Yet Another Commentard

          Re: See ...

          Indeed it "proves" to a politico, or a tame journalist that the increased snoopage on the populous is required.

          To me it proves the police can handle this sort of thing very well without those extra powers. They just made 660 arrests without it, right?

          Maybe all MP's web-use and e-mail should be checked by the rest of us first as a 'test' of the new powers. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear after all.

  4. teebie

    Police declined to explain how they "snared" the suspects

    ...because they don't want anyone to think about Operation Ore, where they arrested hundreds of people, most of whose only 'crime' was to have their credit cards nicked.

    If they actually *have* arrested the right people this time then congratulations, but based on past form I suspect they ahve arrested more passers-by that paedos

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Police declined to explain how they "snared" the suspects

      Given their ability in some of the technical fields I do worry if people have been nabbed through possibly amateurish poring over some TOR logs and then passing a dodgily compiled list of IP address over to an overworked incompetent working at an ISP...

      But of course if the end of that process was finding a crapload of CP on someone's hard disk then Jim's your uncle.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Police declined to explain how they "snared" the suspects

        I'm getting so cynical by this point that I suspect the way it really happened was this:

        Cameron picks up phone: "Chief inspector, we're getting pilloried in the media. I want you to arrest a huge number of paedophiles so we look good."

        Chief Inspector: "Righty-ho. I'll get a list of the ones we reckon we have enough evidence on."

        Cameron: "Oh, don't worry about whether you can get convictions. The plebs will have forgotten about it by the time it actually gets that far. Just make sure the arrest count is high"

        Probably I'm just too cynical but given the crap I've seen pulled by the government over the last few years, I'm finding it hard to trust their intent that much. I think they're even willing to exploit paedophillia as a political tool these days.

        1. Jonathan Richards 1
          Stop

          Government control the police...

          ...they wish. Your scenario kind of implies that there's one "Chief Inspector" that can make stuff like this happen. In fact there are nearly fifty independent constabularies in the UK, each led by a Chief Constable (or equivalent; Chief Inspector is a relatively low rank). So Mr Cameron would have to be able to have dozens of top policemen to go "Righty-ho", and you only have to look at the Andrew Mitchell case to know how popular the politicos are with the constabulary, and to see how this sort of conspiracy simply wouldn't work, and wouldn't remain secret for more than a few minutes if any particular PM were to try it.

        2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: Police declined to explain how they "snared" the suspects

          @ h4rm0ny - when I saw this on the news last night, I said to Mrs IP that, if we follow the cases, there will be a conviction rate of 10% or less. My opinion hasn't changed.

    2. emmanuel goldstein

      Re: Police declined to explain how they "snared" the suspects

      they claim to be monitoring and interdicting people using tor. I don't buy that. tor is still pretty much opaque to law enforcement.

      and whilst I'm glad they've busted a load of perverts, I'm also glad there are parts of the internet that are truly free.

    3. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: Police declined to explain how they "snared" the suspects

      Yes IF they have arrested people found with actual kiddy porn... Good Job!

      If they were an IP in a log file, or a couple of thumbnail images, or a cartoon that looked like she might be under age, or credit cards again. BAD. "Kill them all and let God sort them out" is not how you should run a police force.

  5. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

    for some definition of paedophile...

    Given the sentence:

    Some of the people who start by accessing indecent images online go on to abuse children directly. So the operation is not only about catching people who have already offended – it is about influencing potential offenders before they cross that line.

    it is likely that a non-negligible percentage of the cuffed "suspects" did little more than clicking a malicious mislabeled link on 4chan (or somewhere equivalent). I prticularly like the bit about catching people before they cross the line, it has a delicious Minority Report to it. But pumping up the stats is good for the bill...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: for some definition of paedophile...

      "it is likely that a non-negligible percentage of the cuffed "suspects" did little more than clicking a malicious mislabeled link on 4chan (or somewhere equivalent). But pumping up the stats is good for the bill..."

      Is that going to be your excuse then? ;)

      It's one thing to claim someone tricked you into viewing it but it's a whole different story when your search history shows you purposely searched for underaged people. The police do not spend 6 months investigating and then make an arrest for a handful of links in someones history, many of the people that got off before were let off due to technicalities or "lack of evidence" rather than being cleared of being a nonce and most of them had a browser history chocked full of questionable material.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: for some definition of paedophile...

        >>" many of the people that got off before were let off due to technicalities or "lack of evidence" rather than being cleared of being a nonce and most of them had a browser history chocked full of questionable material."

        Not to say that this isn't the case, but the obvious question is how would you know this? Are you an officer involved? Seems unlikely. Therefore the above is presumably just conjecture?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: for some definition of paedophile...

          "Not to say that this isn't the case, but the obvious question is how would you know this? Are you an officer involved? Seems unlikely. Therefore the above is presumably just conjecture?"

          I am not in anyway related to those specific cases, however I have been involved (on the prosecuting side of course) in cases very similar to this and I know that the amount of evidence required by the CPS to even bring the cases to court is massively more than people seem to think. Calling me a technical consultant on cases like this would not be far from the truth.

          Many people (in my personal experience) have gotten off by saying "it's not illegal, she's 16" and when proven the courts had no choice but to drop the case. Even though it is clear that the 16 year old had been manipulated over the years into "falling in love" with the much older "groomer", but the lack of evidence of "grooming" means the case was dropped.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: for some definition of paedophile...

            AC you are M W-T and I claim my £5.

            1. Swarthy Silver badge

              Re: for some definition of paedophile...(@Ivan 4)

              Really? I was thinking it was Claire Perry.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: for some definition of paedophile...

            "I know that the amount of evidence required by the CPS to even bring the cases to court is massively more than people seem to think. "

            Being a cynic I would say that the amount of real evidence obtained is often irrelevant. Once the Police have decided that there is the prospect of a career enhancing case - then they keep going. A blind alley is often attributed to "clever criminals" or "lying witnesses". They can even resort to off the record threats to try to make alleged victims falsely incriminate the alleged perpetrators.

            Naturist families are easy targets. All the Police need is an "anonymous" phone call to trigger an investigation. They know they will find something in the family albums that they can use as a hook for a bigger investigation.

            In one case the Crown Court judge said that if the police hadn't culled a few seconds from a naturist family's home video then he wouldn't have noticed the alleged indecent shot. That was the only prosecution evidence. The defendant pleaded guilty to a "technical offence" to avoid a possible jail sentence. The judge apologised for the severity of the mandatory minimum sentence. He then spent most of his probation playing games of chess with his probation officer who recognised the injustice.

            A naturist family had their children taken away - and took several years to get their conviction quashed. Their offence was having kept some family holiday pictures discarded in the "reject" box.

            A jury threw a case out. Under cross examination the prosecution's star expert witness agreed there was nothing actually indecent about a set of naturist holiday pictures that was the prosecution's only evidence. The judge had repeatedly ruled that the prosecution's expert witness was making personal comments that were outside her professional remit.

            People have been prosecuted for possessing a book that could simultaneously be bought at W H Smith.

            When the police get desperate about how such an investigation is proving fruitless - they can be tempted to mount dawn raids on anyone in an accused's address book. Especially if that address is of a school teacher, scout master, or IT techie. They hope the fishing expedition will turn up something on a PC or phone. By making an arrest on "suspicion of conspiracy to..." they side-step trying to obtain a search warrant from a magistrate with no evidence. They then claim immunity from complaints by having followed "due process".

            These things have happened - and should not have done. Institutions have become numbers games - with the general law-abiding public as their cannon fodder.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: for some definition of paedophile...

        > many of the people that got off before were let off due to technicalities or "lack of evidence" rather than being cleared of being a nonce

        Is there a difference?

        Whether the CPS decide there is insufficient evidence to bring charges, or a jury finds that the prosecution have not proved guilt beyond reasonable doubt... either way, one could say that the defendant has been let off due to a "technicality" or a "lack of evidence".

        There is no such thing as "being cleared" of suspicion. Whatever happened to "innocent until proven otherwise"?

      3. Tom 35 Silver badge

        Re: for some definition of paedophile...

        "The police do not spend 6 months investigating and then make an arrest for a handful of links in someones history,"

        They also don't just happen to arrest 600 people at the same time unless it's a circus.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: for some definition of paedophile...

      > it has a delicious Minority Report to it. But pumping up the stats is good for the bill...

      This is the key point.

      I'm all for identifying people that are potentially in need of "help" but I'm not a big fan of what more and more is little more than thought crime.

      Throw the book at child molesters and abusers, but looking at pictures being a crime is a step too far.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: for some definition of paedophile...

        @Skelband : Agreed

        > but looking at pictures being a crime is a step too far.

        Imagine the number of arrests the day that looking at the Youporn/Xhamster kind of porn is made illegal ?

        ( Not speaking for myself of course, I definately wouldn't look at naked bodied people, doing things that naked bodied people sometimes do together, or with friends, or with multiple friends).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: for some definition of paedophile...

        "looking at pictures being a crime is a step too far."

        That's the same defense given against the ivory trade. "it's okay to buy it because I am not directly killing the animals". The fact is that if you stop the demand the supply will dry up. By people actively viewing the images (and a lot of the time paying for them) they are only encouraging more abuse Images to be created, meaning more children are being abused.

        Of course stopping people viewing the images does not stop child abuse outright, but if the lack of advertising (which is pretty much what it is) for child abuse means that one less child is molested by someone that's a win in my book.

        1. Fibbles

          Re: for some definition of paedophile...

          That's the same defense given against the ivory trade. "it's okay to buy it because I am not directly killing the animals". The fact is that if you stop the demand the supply will dry up.

          AFAIK most child pornography is produced by paedophiles. Most active paedophiles are related to their victims. As unfortunate as it is, there's always going to be a supply of this material, regardless of any external demand.

          1. Faye Kane ♀ girl brain

            Re: for some definition of paedophile...

            ==-

            > most child pornography is produced by paedophiles. Most active paedophiles are related to their victims

            HORRIBLE logic! In fact, most porn of all types is produced in volume by porn companies legally in a country where producing it is legal. The yank-off pix you can buy without comment in one place magically becomes "shocking, disgraceful child pornography!" when it crosses an imaginary line separating two countries.

            And that's even before we observe (at least, from what I've come across while looking for other stuff) that the girls in these things are usually having a damn good time and NEVER appear to be coerced.

            Is someone fu cking a 9 year-old? Yes, put a stop to it. But I can testify from my own experience that 14 y/o girls have the same sex desire as 18 year-olds. The only people who declare it "shocking" when 14 year-olds do the same thing everybody wants to do are those who look at "CP" themselves and feel shame and guilt they ought not feel.

            The hypocrisy of men makes me SICK.

            -faye kane ♀ girl brain

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019