Statement: Proposals for child exploitation and online protection

12 January 2010

Alan Campbell, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office, announced in a written ministerial statement, the Government's proposals to turn the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOPC) into a non-departmental public body

The Government set up CEOPC in 2006 with the remit of protecting children online and helping to tackle child sexual offenders. It was created to ensure that there was a law enforcement unit capable of responding to these threats. CEOPC is currently affiliated to the Serious Organised Crime Agency but with operational independence.

Since its inception, CEOPC has rescued over 500 children, which has led to the arrest of a significant number of people. It has also developed a child internet safety website - Think U Know - complemented by a comprehensive education programme in schools.

The Home Office now believes that CEOPC should be given its own legal identity as a Non-Departmental Public Body which would allow it to respond quickly and effectively to emerging threats, and to take on additional related work, including missing and/or abducted children, enhancing the protection of children at a national level.

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