184 suspected child sex offenders have been arrested and 230 children have been safeguarded following one the biggest ever international child sex abuse investigations.

Some 670 suspects have already been identified as part of the Europol-led 'Operation Rescue', which targeted a web forum.

Europol expects that even more children will be protected as the operation continues.

The suspected child sex offenders were members of an online forum that promoted sexual relationships between adults and young boys.

The website operated from a server based in the Netherlands and, at its height, boasted up to 70,000 members worldwide.

Operation Rescue has run for three years and involved authorities from 13 countries (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Greece, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Spain, UK and the United States).

The ability of Europol analysts to crack the security features of a key computer server has been credited with identifying the suspected offenders.