HOMES and workplaces across the UK will continue to be raided in connection with Operation Ore.

So far, there have been fewer than 2000 arrests out of a total of more than 7200 suspects, including Pete Townshend.

The burden in coping with such numbers is such that up to 5000 may escape prosecution - because they have destroyed evidence, or been subject only to formal warnings, or they have logged on to pornographic websites but not downloaded the pictures.

Examining just one computer can take months, and cost up to (pounds) 2000 a machine, and in reality police are dealing with cases already four years old.

In Scotland, police remain silent on the number of raids and arrests since the names and credit card details of 7272 UK-based subscribers were passed to British police forces last summer. There are more than 700 on the Scottish list, following a US-based ''sting'' after the arrest of owners of a pay-per-view child pornography website based in Texas.

Strathclyde is doubling the size of its computer crime unit, albeit from three to seven IT specialists, in the wake of the growing workload.

Two British men were arrested as part of an international crackdown on an internet paedophile network in a series of raids carried out yesterday.

Premises in five countries, including the UK, were searched and 21 people arrested, with some being interviewed in connection with making and distributing indecent images of children.

The men arrested in Britain - a 36-year-old retail manager from Worcestershire and a 51-year-old from Northamptonshire - were being questioned at an undisclosed location.