660 Arrested in British Child-Porn Roundup

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British police have arrested more than 600 suspected pedophiles who allegedly accessed pornographic images of children on the Internet, reports the Los Angeles Times. The sweep comes at a time of heightened sensitivity over pedophilia in a country where sensational stories of the sexual abuse of minors regularly headline the tabloids, which some critics accuse of whipping up public hysteria over the issue. Those arrested include doctors, lawyers, caregivers and former police officers. Thirty-nine of the 660 suspects were known sex offenders.

The arrests culminated a six-month investigation involving 45 different law-enforcement agencies across Britain. The National Crime Agency, which normally combats organized crime, declined to elaborate how detectives traced the suspects from their online activities but said that all the suspects had used the Internet to look at indecent images of children. The sting operation comes against a backdrop of several high-profile figures accused of molesting minors in cases that often occurred decades ago.

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