Monday, November 8, 2010

Child internet alerts on increase

Child internet alerts on increase

LONDON: The UK's online child protection agency has received more than 6,000 reports from concerned internet users over the last year, according to new figures.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (Ceop) Centre said it had logged 6,291 reports, up 16% on the previous 12-month period.

Around 40% of these alerts came from the public, with the overall increase boosted by concerns raised by the online industry.

Ceop also noted a rise in explicit self-taken pictures of children. Once posted online these images that could fall into the hands of paedophiles, it warned.

Jim Gamble, the outgoing Ceop chief executive, who resigned over Government plans for the agency, said the figures underlined the need for an "holistic approach" to the problem.

Ceop's annual strategic review revealed that a quarter of all reports received by its team of child protection specialists related to online grooming of children.

In 135 cases, concern was raised over a suspect making arrangements to meet a child. A further 1,553 reports related to the possession and distribution of images.

Around 8% referred to contact sexual abuse by a suspect, while 434 related to a child being incited to perform a sex act.

Public reports came overwhelmingly through the ClickCeop button, which is used by children and concerned parents to alert the authorities and access information on online safety.

The overall increase in logged concerns came from a rise in industry reporting, from online moderators, website hosts and mobile phone companies.


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