The number of suspected sex offenders arrested in the UK who target children has tripled in the past year, according to the organisation set up to tackle abuse.
In its second annual review the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre said 297 suspects had been arrested.
In the past year it said it had helped a total of 131 children. Of this number, 18 children had been found by processing almost a million images of child sex abuse found on sex offenders' PCs.
The organisation, set up as part of the UK police service in 2006, said the latest figures show that “the battle against child sex offenders continues to gather pace.”
As well as finding children, the organisation said it had helped break up six international paedophile networks and located 25 of the UK's highest risk child sex offenders.
Of these, 10 had been caught after their details were posted on CEOP’s “Most Wanted” page, which asks people to call in with information on their whereabouts.
Through this page and other reporting buttons on the rest of the site, nearly 6,000 reports of potential child sex abuse had been received from the police, the child protection community and the public in the past 12 months.
CEOP also said it had extended its Thinkuknow education programme to help children understand the risks of online threats. It has now reached over 1.7 million UK children, through messages delivered from teachers and carers.
Jim Gamble, chief executive at CEOP, said: “I hope offenders look hard at these figures because they show not just how we at CEOP are working, but the culmination of just how far law enforcement and the child protection community have come.”