25 February 2009

UK - 100 children a month alert police to internet predators

(Guardian)
UK Police are responding to more than 100 alerts every month from child internet users who are in immediate danger of sexual abuse or violence at the hands of online predators. Specialist officers from Ceop, the Home Office-funded Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre, are receiving on average four alerts every day from children who are about to meet in the real world a suspicious character they have met online or are suicidal because they have been so comprehensively groomed. The alerts are made through a "report abuse" button, which links directly to a team of specialist police officers trained in handling online child abuse. But the amount of suspicious activity online is likely to be far greater than the volume of complaints suggests because many popular social networking sites, including Facebook, have so far declined to feature the link.