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Online paedophile crackdown urged

Date: November 02, 2004
Source: ITV.Com

Children's charities are launching a joint campaign with the police to call for more resources to tackle internet paedophiles.

They claim that some paedophiles are escaping justice and children are suffering horrifying sexual abuse because of a shortage of police funding.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) and a coalition of leading charities have called on the Government to give a huge cash injection to Internet porn policing.

Protect your children online now!

They also want to see the creation of a "virtual 999" service online and a new law making it illegal to offer advice on how to abuse children.

The Children's Charities Coalition for Internet Safety (CHIS), which includes the NSPCC, Barnardo's, NCH and ChildLine, argued that a lack of essential police equipment was allowing criminals to evade capture or be bailed for long periods.

And investigations were often dropped because the Internet crimes have not taken place within a police force's boundary, they added.

Acpo spokesman and West Midlands Assistant Chief Constable Stuart Hyde said: "Equipping the police service to provide the type of response now expected is a real challenge for us.

"When we consider the huge licence fees charged for 3G technology, for example, alongside the additional investment in police capability, there is a massive difference.

"We have called for additional investment in both technology and resources to address child protection online.

"The Internet has created new challenges and new business for the police, we need new investment to address it and protect our children."

CHIS spokesman and NCH's Internet adviser John Carr says: "The victims of these horrendous crimes - the children themselves - are so often not being found and helped. This should be at the top of everybody's agenda.

"As the General Election approaches, the children's charities are demanding that policing of the Internet is made a significantly bigger priority.

"Vital changes in the law must also be made to make cyberspace as safe as possible for our children."

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