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Children: Abuse

Volume 502: debated on Thursday 10 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of his Department's budget was allocated to tackling child abuse and the viewing of images of child abuse online in each of the last five years. (304639)

The Government set up the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) in 2006 to help protect children online. They have tackled both those who abuse children and those who are trading in images of such abuse. Since 2006 the Government have provided funding for the Centre as follows.

£ million

2006-07

5.360

2007-08

5.657

2008-09

6.270

2009-10

6.353

In addition, chief constables have their normal policing budget which they are able to use on the priorities for their forces. Any decision on funding or staffing for child protection activity is a matter for the chief constables for their area.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further work he plans to undertake on the relationship between viewing images of child abuse online and child abuse. (304719)

The Government's efforts on the relationship between viewing images of child abuse online and child abuse focus on the training courses provided by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre for child protection professionals. These courses are designed to do two things. Firstly, to help delegates better understand the nature of sexual offending and secondly to impart the skills and knowledge that can better equip professionals to deal with the difficult and distressing nature of this crime. Many of CEOP's training courses are based on material gathered during investigations, and case studies of sex offenders interviewed by CEOP's dedicated Behavioural Analysis Unit (BAU). The relationship between the use of images and contact offending is a key thread that runs through all of their project areas and something that is considered in all of the interviews that the BAU conduct with offenders.