In one instance a newsgroup was used to seek help with the grooming of a young child for abuse.

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DCI Bob Mc Lachlan, head of the Met's Paedophile Unit, said: "Today's operation is the result of an intelligence led operation targeted at stemming the distribution of child pornography via the internet.

"Images like these are evidence of the sexual assault and rape of children - and anyone who buys or downloads them perpetuates the cycle of abuse." "We know that the internet is increasingly used as a conduit for the exchange of pornographic pictures of children.

No part of this database can be copied without our permission.

Those under investigation are suspected of using Internet newsgroups to request, exchange and supply paedophilic images.

Those responsible believe that the internet affords anonymity, but police technology in this area is increasingly sophisticated." See this story on the Web at see further the BBC coverage.

ZDNet UK News, Seven Britons guilty over child porn ring, Wed, .

These young victims need to be identified and protected as quickly as possible.

The National Crime Squad, with our strategic IT partners Serco, have developed sophisticated facial mapping software.

Operation Landmark is the culmination of a ten month investigation by the National Crime Squad.