A MAN has been arrested as part of a nationwide police crackdown on suspected online paedophiles.
The 55-year-old from Peterlee, who has not been named, was bailed pending further inquiries after he was detained by Durham Constabulary.
A 46-year-old man from Bishop Auckland was also arrested and later freed while investigations continue.
Both are suspected of possessing indecent images of children and will answer bail when forensic inquiries are complete.
Officers from more than 40 forces were involved in the 48-hour Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) operation, with 100 suspects arrested so far.
Speaking about the operation in general, Detective Chief Inspector Traci McNally, from Durham Constabulary’s safeguarding unit, said: “This operation forms part of our everyday efforts to safeguard children from the risks posed by sex offenders who share indecent images of young people over the internet.
“We regularly work with law enforcement agencies such as CEOP and other partner agencies to tackle this type of criminal activity.
“In every case where indecent images of children are distributed, a child has been subject to some form of abuse in order for that to happen and the damage and devastation that this cause to a child’s life is beyond comprehension.
“We are committed to safeguarding children from abuse and will continue to root out sex offenders who utilise the internet to facilitate their crimes.”
People are advised to contact police if they suspect this type of criminal activity is going on. They should ring 101 and ask for the safeguarding unit or any local officer.