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British police arrested 99 people in raids targeting online pedophiles.
Around 99 people were arrested in raids conducted by the British police against online pedophiles, according to the BBC.
Members of the armed forces, a retired teacher and a scout leader were among those arrested in the raids carried out by over 40 forces in the nation-wide raids by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center, said the BBC.
Some 80 children were removed from harm, said the BBC, including 20 found at the raided properties.
The raids were carried out on Tuesday and Wednesday and involved more than 600 officers and agents from the CEOP and the Serious and Organized Crime Agency, the Guardian reported.
The deputy chief executive of CEOP, Andy Baker, told the Guardian that an estimated 50,000 people in the UK viewed and shared images of child sex abuse.
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The raids were in planning stages for five months and all those arrested were men, said CEOP.
The Telegraph said around 80 children were "safeguarded" after the raids, every one in four found on the properties which were raided.
Some 143 search warrants were executed, and most of the warrants were in relation to image offenses, including the possession and distribution of indecent pictures of children, according to The Independent.
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The CEOP published a report on Thursday that said 55 percent of pedophiles who are in possession of indecent images also commit sexual offenses against children, said The Telegraph.
Kate Fisher, an analyst for CEOP, said, "The images being downloaded are increasingly becoming more extreme, sadistic and violent and feature increasingly younger children."
Laptops, USB drives and digital cameras were seized and will be examined for evidence. Baker said, "Every image is a crime scene," according to the BBC.
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