Officers working under Op Galaxy are tasked with working on a variety of cases, one of which is the arrest and detention of suspects we believe to be involved in the possession of indecent images of children.
It’s an abhorrent crime which a specialist team of officers in Humberside Police’s Internet Sex Offenders Team (ISOT) work tirelessly to investigate with the ultimate aim of protecting victims, catching offenders and preventing further offences.
What is the Internet Sex Offenders Team (ISOT)?
The ISOT is a group of dedicated detectives that deal with the ever growing world of sexual predators. They deal with those who target children online in order to commit offences against them as well as those offenders who use the web to share indecent images of children. This is an incredibly serious worldwide problem, which perpetuates the abuse of the youngest and most vulnerable in our society.
ISOT are the link between Humberside Police and CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) and work closely alongside the National Crime Agency (NCA) to gather evidence against offenders in our area and to bring them to justice.
Op Galaxy has provided extra officers to assist ISOT with daily arrests and searches, this has allowed the team to progress their cases and arrest outstanding suspects more efficiently.
Lockdown has seen, what is an already widespread and growing concern, increase with a rise in cases reported to us. Easy access to the internet paired with increased time available has led to more people seeking, viewing and sharing indecent images of children. So far during Op Galaxy we have arrested 14 people from across our region who we suspect of the crime of possessing indecent images of children and 12 children who we believe are victims have been safeguarded by the team. The care and support of victims is paramount.
Detective Constable Rachel Hall speaks about the work of the ISOT and her work in bringing online sexual offenders to justice.
How do we help victims?
The ISOT are very much victim led and focused, providing regular updates as well as help find support through outside agencies for whenever they need it. Detectives working for in the ISOT are trained to be as supportive as possible and help victims through any court process. Victims are encouraged to contact the team at any point if ever they have a question or concern.
How do we deal with suspects?
A huge amount of work goes on both before and after any suspect is arrested. By the time an arrest is made a vast amount of evidence and intelligence is gathered on those individuals. Bringing them into custody allows us to secure evidence such as seizing electronic items and question a suspect about the reasons for their arrest. Often those arrested are released pending further investigations and not charged immediately as a case has to be comprehensively built and pieced together to the point of submission to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) where charging decisions of suspects are then made.
Officers also want to make sure the suspects they deal with get help to try and stop them from repeat offending. The Lucy Faithful foundation (https://www.lucyfaithfull.org.uk/) as a starting point for them to get access to counselling and support.
The investigations can be lengthy, so we make sure we have regular contact with suspects in order to ensure they are adhering to any bail conditions.
Working hard to protect children and to bring offenders to justice
The intensive action and support of Op Galaxy to the ISOT has meant that more children have been safeguarded and protected and more offenders have been brought to justice.
Report crime to us by calling our non-emergency 101 number or anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.
If you are worried about online sexual abuse or the way someone has been communicating with you or a loved one online, there is more information available via the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) command at: https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/
Who Are You Really Talking To Online?
For more national information and advice about online abuse and how to stay safe only please take a look at these websites:
With the threat of offenders using online live streaming platforms increasing there is a need to educate children about the associated risks.
NCA-CEOP want to help parents and carers protect their children from online offenders like Sam, the fictional narrator of this animation: