LATEST NEWS: Four arrested as child sex offences crackdown hits Sunderland

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FOUR men have been arrested as part of a national crack-down on suspected child sex offenders.

Over the last two days, four houses in Sunderland and Gateshead were stormed by teams of Northumbria and Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) officers.

Computers and mobile phones were seized and the men were arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.

Inquiries are ongoing.

Detective Superintendent Steve Wade, of Northumbria Police’s Protecting Vulnerable People department, said: “Safeguarding children is a major element in helping us reduce harm to the most vulnerable of our communities.

“Although this action is part of a national operation the public can be reassured that there is constant ongoing partnership work between ourselves and agencies such as Soca.

“The activity shows the effective arrangements in place to identify and take action against those we suspect are using the internet for illegal activity and the abuse of children.

“Northumbria Police has trained staff dedicated to protecting those that are most at risk and identifying and targeting the individuals or groups that prey on the vulnerable.”