Skip to main content

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre

Volume 503: debated on Monday 11 January 2010

Further to my written answer, 16 December 2009, Official Report, column 1392w, the Home Office is publishing today “Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre: The Way Forward” as Command Paper 7785, which sets out the Government’s proposals for the creation of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) as a non-departmental public body. Copies will be placed in the Vote Office.

The Government set up CEOP in 2006 with the remit of protecting children online and to help tackle child sexual offenders. This was seen as a new area of threat to children, and the centre was created to ensure that there was a law enforcement unit capable of responding to these threats. CEOP is currently affiliated to SOCA and, as such, has had operational independence.

Since its inception, CEOP has been a remarkable success. It has rescued over 500 children, and has led to the arrest of a significant number of people seeking to harm them. It has also developed the leading UK child internet safety website, “Think U Know”, complemented by a comprehensive education programme in schools.

Having considered the work of the centre, and the ongoing online and offline threats to children, we believe that the centre should now become an NDPB. This will allow CEOP to develop further its work to protect children including tackling the issue of missing children, and to be able to have the powers to ensure that it is able to continue to protect children.

The Government are publishing these proposals today, and will bring forward the necessary legislation in the next Parliament.