A new project has been unveiled to crack down on internet child porn and help keep kids safe online.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection(CEOP) centre in London will bring police, computer industry experts and specialists from children’s charities together under one roof.
CEOP will look at combating images of child sex abuse and other child safety issues such as online ‘grooming’.
Suspicious activity can be reported to CEOP 24 hours a day and the centre will also offer advice to parents and potential victims.
Jim Gamble, who is head of the new body, said: ‘The CEOP centre is the most significant development in child protection in recent years. Our message is clear: If you’re a sex offender, get help or get caught.’
Internet Safety Adviser at children’s charity NCH, John Carr, said: ‘NCH welcomes this important initiative that promises to help keep children safe online both in the UK and across the world.
‘We are particularly pleased to see industry, law enforcement, and children’s charities working together in this highly innovative way to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place to help protect our children from harm.’
The CEOP centre has also set up a website which has been designed and written specifically for youngsters of secondary school age.
The thinkuknow website, which will in future contain a section for primary school aged children, has tips on how kids can stay safe online and contains information on mobile phones to blogging and gaming sites.
Tips for parents
The CEOP centre recommends that parents should:
- Know what their children are doing online and who they are talking to
- Help children to understand that they should never give out personal details to online friends – personal information includes their instant messenger ID, email address, mobile number and any pictures of themselves, their family or friends
- If a child receives spam/junk email and texts, remind them never to believe them, reply to them or use them
- Not to open files that are from people they don’t know. They won’t know what they contain – it could be a virus, or worse – an inappropriate image or film
- Help children to understand that some people lie online and that therefore it’s better to keep online friends online. They should never meet up with any strangers without an adult they trust