Multi-million pound funding to protect child abuse victims and track down offenders

Tuesday September 17th, 2019

New fund will bolster law enforcement capabilities to tackle child sexual exploitation and abuse.Government Opportunities

A £30 million funding boost will equip law enforcement with pioneering new tech and capabilities to track down more paedophiles operating online and safeguard children who have been abused, the government has announced.

The additional investment to tackle child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) will help target the most dangerous and sophisticated offenders who operate on the dark web.

Statistics from the National Crime Agency (NCA) show that last year 2.88 million accounts were registered globally across the most harmful child sexual abuse dark web sites, with at least 5% believed to be registered in the UK.

To tackle this threat, further investment will be made in the UK’s world-leading Child Abuse Image Database (CAID), a resource that provides law enforcement agencies with effective tools to search seized devices for indecent images of children, reducing the time taken to identify illegal images of children and increasing the ability to identify victims. The new funds being made available will explore adding enhanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to the system, including voice analytics and age estimation.

The government has also announced it will be co-hosting a major child sexual abuse summit in December in Africa to drive the international response.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

The internet has revolutionised the world by opening up society, facilitating the exchange of ideas, increasing the flow of goods and empowering people in a way many never thought possible. Yet while the internet can be an immeasurable force for good, it can also be used to provide a safe space for criminals.

That is why are taking further steps to combat those who use the internet to prey upon children. Just as we’re giving the police more resources and recruiting 20,000 more officers to keep our streets safe, we are also putting more money and the very best of our world-leading technical abilities into catching offenders operating in the dark web.

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