“Both men had clear intentions to meet and abuse girls"
Two Birmingham men have been jailed for trying to meet children for sex.
Abdi Shire and Adean Ahmed, who are unconnected, both thought they were arranging to meet young girls in Birmingham but instead were met by West Midlands Police.
Detectives found that Shire, aged 64, of Small Heath, had asked to meet a 13-year-old girl for sexual services on July 23, 2020.
Two days later, he agreed on a price with the teenager, however, the meeting never happened.
In the early hours of August 12, 2020, officers arrested him at his home address.
Detectives received intelligence Ahmed, aged 24, of Edgbaston, had asked “do you have any 12” and “is there anything like 10” in references to the age of girls he planned to abuse.
On November 18, 2020, Ahmed was arrested after being intercepted by police.
At Birmingham Crown Court, Ahmed was jailed for three years.
Shire pleaded guilty to arranging the commission of a child sex offence and was jailed for three years and two months.
Birmingham Mail reported that both men have also been placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.
The team behind the arrests is active on online platforms looking for people seeking to groom children online. They intercept them before they are able to meet children.
Detective Inspector Lewis Cook, of West Midlands Police Force Priorities & Vulnerabilities Team, said:
“We’ve delivered swift justice against these two men: both are already now behind bars serving significant prison sentences.
“Both men had clear intentions to meet and abuse girls – and in Ahmed’s case he enquired about girls as young as 10.
“Vigilante ‘paedophile hunter’ groups have emerged in recent times and there seems to be a perception police are not doing this work ? but that’s absolutely not the case.
“We’ve been active online, working alongside social media providers, and protecting children for many years.
“This is the latest success for the team and I’m very proud of their continued efforts to protect children across the region.”
Project Atari was launched in 2017 and under the operation, the team has worked with colleagues in the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) to arrest around 300 suspected to be trying to groom children online.
DI Cook said his team are always looking for new opportunities to catch online sexual predators.
He added: “We want to create an environment of disruption, fear and apprehension amongst people who operate online to sexually abuse children.
“But everyone has a role to play. We’d ask parents to be intrusive in their children’s online activity. Do you know who they are talking to?
“And if anyone has suspicions that a child is being groomed then please contact the police.
“And if anyone is concerned about someone’s online behaviour, or suspects they are grooming children, then please get in touch so we can investigate.”