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The Online Child Abuse Investigation Unit (OCAIU) at Northamptonshire Police safeguarded nearly 200 children last year.
The OCAIU sits within the Force’s Protecting Vulnerable People Command and works to target people who view and distribute indecent images of children, or who groom, incite and facilitate sexual activity with children through use of the internet, and bring them to justice.
In 2022, the team safeguarded 193 children, arrested 158 people, executed multiple warrants and secured 56 convictions.
These convictions have included a 44-year-old man sentenced to six years and one month in prison for a number of charges including sexual communication with a child and attempting to meet a girl under 16 following grooming.
A 37-year-old man was sentenced to eight years in prison in connection with charges including making indecent images of children and paying for the sexual services of a girl under 13.
Whilst a 60-year-old man was sentenced to four years and five months in prison for 10 offences including voyeurism and taking indecent images of children.
Detective Inspector Matt Haworth said: “During 2022, the team secured some really positive results - taking dangerous predators off our streets and crucially, safeguarding and protecting vulnerable children.
“We know how important it is to the public that we tackle this type of crime and I want to reassure people that it is our intention to bring you similarly positive results and proactivity throughout 2023.
“Our team is passionate about the protection and safeguarding of our children in this county. Every day, they come in determined to make Northamptonshire safer for our young people and bring those who wish to do them harm to justice by working in partnership with other teams in Northamptonshire Police, our safeguarding partners across social care, health and education and regional, national, and international policing colleagues.
"Our message to offenders is clear, we will identify you, find you and arrest you.
“I hope these results demonstrate the commitment we have to safeguarding children in Northamptonshire and again, I want to reassure the public that we will continue to be relentless in our pursuit of online predators. We will be back later in the year to update the public on our continued successes.”