Over 360 people have been arrested across Europe as part of an investigation into online child sex abuse, with nearly 900 people arrested worldwide in a probe dubbed Operation Pacifier.

The investigation was led by the FBI and the US Department of Justice, and supported by Europol and other law enforcement agencies across the globe.

It followed the conviction of one of the lead administrators of one of the world's largest child abuse websites, which has more than 150,000 global users.

The administrator was sentenced to serve up to 30 years in a US prison. Two others have been sentenced to 20 years in prison in connection with the site.

Europol’s role in the investigation was to analyse data it received in order to identify users in Europe.

In a statement, the agency said: "Intelligence packages were prepared and disseminated to law enforcement authorities in countries including Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Italy, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom."

The operation has so far led to the arrests of 870 people worldwide, with 368 arrests in Europe.

At least 259 sexually abused children have been identified or rescued from their abusers outside of the US.