Scottish police have identified more than 500 victims or potential victims of online child sex abuse.
In the first national operation of its kind, 30 million images of abuse were uncovered and seventy-seven people charged.
The 390 charges in all include rape, grooming, sexual extortion and indecent communication.
“At least three cases we’ve seen offenders who have had over ten million images each of children on their computers and other devices,” said Detective Inspector Andy McWilliams, of Police Scotland.
Police say abusers have clear tactics.
“They will identify those that they think may be vulnerable for one reason or another, they will seek personal information which they will exploit, they will suggest the exchange of images and images that they send may not always be of themselves. And that may lead to a suggestion and an arrangement of a meeting where children can be abused,” explained Malcolm Graham, Assistant Chief Constable of Police Scotland.
ACC Graham says Operation Lattise results shows the scale and extent of #OnlineChildSexualAbuse – a threat that is always evolving.— Police Scotland (@policescotland) 29 July 2016
Detectives scoured more than 100-thousand online chat logs as part of their six-week operation, focusing on sites and social media platforms used by young people.
Police say many of their investigations are continuing.
.— Scotgov Justice (@ScotgovJustice) 29 July 2016
markmcdsnp</a> welcomes <a href="https://twitter.com/policescotland">policescotland work to crack down on sexual exploitation of children online through Operation Lattise