The UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Agency is calling for a database that will store images of abuse appearing on the web. BBC Newsnight highlights the impact not having such a national paedophile database. Britain has a poor ability to identify and rescue child abuse victims compared to most other countries.
Mick Moran, head of child protection at the international police agency Interpol told Newsnight that simply prosecuting those who download images of child sex abuse is not enough. He said that the images need to be sent to a central point where they can be analysed to look for clues to identify the children, but that is not happening in the UK. Mr Moran said some police officers are “forgetting the fact that each of these images, each of these movies, contains a victim”.
In the UK different police forces currently have various systems and different databases. Some have their own victim identification units. However it could be another 18 months before a national system is introduced. Although millions of images of child sex abuse have been collected only 47 cases were passed on to Ceop by the UK’s 52 police forces in 2010 – less than one per force. In the cases which were passed to them Ceop helped rescue 22 victims.
Mick Moran and Mark Williams Thomas have been invited to National Conference on Safeguarding on the Internet , 16th November, Reading.