The Home Secretary, Sajid Javed has delivered a speech announcing new measures to keep children safe which, he describes, as his key mission during his period of tenure.
Initially turning his attention to what he describes as the ‘appalling growing trend of children being sexually abused online’ which was prompted by a recent visit to the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation Online Protection Command when he says ‘the full horror of the scale of child sexual abuse was really brought home to me’,
In response he indicated that the government will allocate an extra £21m over the next 18 months to bolster the response of law enforcement agencies to online grooming and videos and images of abuse.
An additional £2.6m will be provided to child protection organisations to improve understanding of offender behaviour and to prevent future offending.
He said ‘Ultimately, what I want to see is a more effective partnership between technology companies, law enforcement, the charity sector and government so that we can be confident in our response to these types of crimes. I want to lay out action in five main areas from companies:
First, I expect technology companies to block child sexual abuse material as soon as companies detect it being uploaded.
Second, I want them to stop child grooming taking place on their platforms.
Third, I expect companies to work with us to shut down live-streamed child abuse.
Fourth, I want companies to be much more forward leaning in helping law enforcement agencies to deal with these types of crimes.
Fifth and finally, I want to see a greater level of openness and transparency and a willingness to share best practice and technology between companies,.
With the NCA conservatively estimating that around 80,000 people in the UK present some kind of sexual threat to children online and figures showing referrals relating to images of child sexual abuse have increased by 700 per cent over the past five years the problem is growing quickly.
The full speech can be found here