Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pedo Watch

Child protection groups have expressed concern over a controversial strategy being considered by police to fight child pornography on the Internet.

It follows reports that British police are considering taking the unprecedented step of posting hundreds of images of abused children on the Net and in other media in an attempt to identify them and prevent further abuse.

But child groups are concerned that the strategy could do more harm than good.
"If you can identify them without publishing the pictures, then good. But simply making the pictures public over the Internet or anywhere else is simply a mistake," John Carr from the charity NCH Action for Children told the BBC's PM programme.

"Anything that would help to track down the perpetrators of these horrific sexual offences agast child should be welcomed.

"But this is like exposing the children to a double dose of abuse."
Police from 12 countries, including Britain, are to meet in the new year to decide whther to publish the pictures.

The British National Crime Squad, which co-ordinated the international crackdown on an alleged Internet paedophile ring in September, recognises it is a high risk strategy.
I'm aware of all those concerns." admitted Detective Superintendent John Stewardson of the National Crime Squad.

Normally the identity of child sex abuse victims are protected by law. But officers say the parents of the children might be unaware their children are being abused.

"It is an absolutely dreadful way for instance to find your child is one of those and consequently maybe had been abused," he told the PM programme.

The pictures were seized in police raids in 12 countries on the homes of more than 100 suspected pedophiles.

They allegedly belonged to the so-called Wonderland Club and exchanged pornographic pictures of children as young as two on the Internet.

The countries involved in the raids included Australia, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and the United States.

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