TWO men in south Wiltshire were arrested as part of a national operation to target online child abuse.

A 60-year-old man from Salisbury and a 30-year-old man from Tidworth were arrested during the six-month operation, which was coordinated by the National Crime Agency.

Forty-five police forces across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland were involved and the operation led to the arrest of 660 suspected paedophiles.

In Wiltshire, six suspects were arrested by officers from the Child Internet Exploitation Team (CIET).

DS Jason Roberts of Wiltshire Police said: “Wiltshire Police have a dedicated team of investigators that target those suspected of making, possessing and distributing indecent images of children via the internet.

“This operation highlights the national scale of this crime. We will continue to work alongside our partner agencies to ensure those arrested are brought to justice and any child that is identified through these investigations are properly safeguarded and protected from the risk of further harm.”

Some of those arrested had unsupervised access to children in the course of their work, including doctors, teachers, Scout leaders, care workers and former police officers.

Of the 660 suspects arrested nationally, 39 people were registered sex offenders, but the majority of those arrested had not previously come to the attention of police.

Officers are encouraging members of the public who may have any information to contact them on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.