New agency launched to tackle child sex abuse

The government has stepped up its war on child sex abuse with the launch of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.

The centre, first announced in November, brings together under one roof police specialists from children’s charities and industry, and aims to focus on high risk, high impact offenders.

As well as tracking sex offenders and spreading information about them worldwide, the centre will provide a dedicated round-the-clock online facility to enable people to report online child sex abuse and run specialist training to help educate professionals in law enforcement, education, child protection and probation.

CEOP will also provide information for children, young people and their parents about how to use the internet safely, and will be developing education programmes and a public awareness campaign. A “think you know” programme will launch in schools later this year giving children advice on internet security and how to surf and chat safely.

Jim Gamble, former deputy director general of the National Crime Squad and chief executive of the new organisation, said: “The CEOP Centre is the most significant development in child protection in recent years, and is a direct response to the explosion in online child abuse.

“What we have to understand is that behind every image online there is a child in the real world that is being abused.”

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