CEOP: 70% of public reports come via web button

Nearly 70% of the public reports to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre came via its new reporting button, the agency said.

CEOP: 70% of public reports come via web button

The CEOP centre had 6,291 intelligence reports this year, with just over a third coming from the public – and the majority of those came via the ClickCEOP reporting button, which the agency has tried to get major websites to feature to battle online grooming. “We are trying to get that button into as many spaces in the online environment as possible,” said Zoe Hilton, the agency’s head of safeguarding and child protection.

When the button was originally launched, Facebook refused to integrate it into its site, although the social networking site does offer a reporting function of its own. CEOP is still in talks with Facebook. “We obviously remain hopeful about that,” she said. “We hope they will look to improve their reporting mechanism.”

Deterring attacks

Having the button doesn’t just offer a reporting mechanism to children, but can actively deter criminals, she said. While CEOP has no way of tracking how many offenders would be put off by seeing the button on a site, it does talk to them as part of its behavioural analysis unit, to find out what might deter them.

“We know that many of them have reported to us that those kinds of things do put them off, because it’s such a visible sign,” she said, adding that situational crime prevention, such as speed cameras, has been used for years. It’s very good at cutting down on offences, because it’s a very clear police presence, and that’s uncomfortable for offenders.”

With 47% of the non-public reports coming from industry bodies, communications firms are set to get their own button, with a trial of a new reporting system set to take place later this year, Hilton added.

CEOP also reported that its efforts lead to the arrests of 417 offenders, up from 334 last year.

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