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One charged after sex abuse probe

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
One charged after sex abuse probe

TWO addresses in the region were searched as part of a Police Scotland operation into online child sexual abuse.

And one person has been subsequently arrested and charged in relation to Operation Lattise.
During the six week crackdown in June and July, Scottish officers examined 23 devices locally, including computers and phones, to search for abusive images.
And nationally it has resulted in the identification of more than 500 children, aged between 3 and 18 years, who were either victims or potential victims of online predators, as well as the recovery of 30 million images of abuse.
To date, 77 people have been arrested and charged with than 390 charges libelled, including: rape; sharing indecent images of children; grooming for sexual purposes; sexual extortion; indecent communication with children; possession of a firearm; bestiality; and drugs offences.
Many of the investigations are still ongoing.
The operational activity focused on:
• the distribution of indecent images of children
• online grooming of children for sexual purposes
• online or webcam sexual extortion of children
• live streaming of child sexual abuse
Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham, said: “Online child sexual abuse is a national threat – the reality is it is happening now, not only in Scotland but across the world, to children of all ages.
“Operation LATTISE was about shining a light on the scale of this issue – it was focused activity to tackle the many forms of online child sexual abuse by identifying those who pose a risk to children online and, more importantly, identifying victims of online sexual abuse and exploitation, as well as preventing more youngsters becoming victims.”
He added: “The protection of children was absolutely at the heart of Operation LATTISE. Our commitment to tackling this horrific threat will continue.”
Early Years Minister Mark McDonald said: “Keeping children safe is a priority for both Police Scotland and the Scottish Government, so although there are many positive aspects to the online world I recognise there are also risks we have to be aware of.”

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