As CEOP has provided support and advice for the company I work for and are all over the flyers and leaflets in work, i've often wondered what exactly it is they do, I thought i'd create a post while I found out!. Although I've heard of CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) as it's a pretty well known name now e.g. i've heard it quite a lot on the news, I don't know a great deal about them, apart from when they were in the news a year or two ago, trying to persuade websites such as Bebo & Facebook to install “panic buttons” on their webpages, and i'm sure many people have roughly the same amount of knowledge.
CEOP's main objective is to eradicate the sexual abuse of children. The organisation consists of police officers who have specialist experience of tracking and prosecuting child sex offenders and are working towards their objective with seconded staff from organisations such as the NSPCC, sponsored by companies such as VISA and SERCO as well as experts from government and corporations such as Microsoft who offer specialist advice and guidance.
CEOP's work is far more in depth than just tracking convicted and potential sex offenders both at home and abroad though, they study how offenders operate and think, how children and young people behave and how technological advances are developing. Which is well needed in today's modern world.
As i've already mentioned (and this may also be how you've heard of CEOP), A “ClickCEOP” panic button was created to help protect vunerable kids online which has been installed on several websites that young people use including GreatBritishKids.com, Facebook, Bebo to name a few. The idea first came from CEOP's former CEO Jim Gamble who called for the panic button to be installed in March 2010. The idea behind it is that if a child felt uncomfortable or at risk online, they could simply click a button and it would be reported to the police via their ThinkUKnow website where it could then be investigated by police officers.
So what actually happens when the button is pressed? Well...
CEOP first came together in 2006 and there's no denying that the work they continue to do is invaluable, just take a look at these statistics:
CP = Children Protected due to the help of CEOP
A = Arressts made thanks to intelligence passed on from CEOP
SO = High risk sex offender networks disrupted and dismantled.
Looking forward, CEOP has three priorities this year:
- Prevent – to make it more difficult to exploit children.
- Protect – Identify and safeguard children who are at risk.
- Pursue – Identify offenders and stop or disrupt their activity.
And they will also be dealing with six high threats this year which is what they will be mainly focusing on:
- How children behave online which is putting them at risk online.
- Children who are particularly vunerable to abuse.
- Use of developing technology by offenders and those who are vulnerable
- Offenders who exploit children
- Offenders who make, distribute or access child abuse material; and
- The trafficking of children.
If you would like to know more about CEOP then visit their website. It has information on Most Wanted lists and the child sex offender disclosure scheme.
This website contains information for parents, carers, teachers and trainers, but it also contains useful information for different age groups of kids too. The 8-10 section has information about how to stay in control on different devices that many young kids have today, such as mobiles and online games. It's worth a look if you're a parent too – just to keep yourself updated!
Hope you've found this post useful. Thanks for reading! CEOP are also hosting a “Safer Internet Day” on the 7th of Feb 2012, so i'll be looking into what they've got planned in my next post.
NB: CEOP suggest that if a child is in immediate danger and anyone is concerned then they need to contact 999.