A report from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, which concludes police are sometimes so busy dealing with Internet child pornography that they have insufficient resources to pursue child abuse enquiries, has been welcomed by the UK’s largest membership organisation for Internet services providers (ISPs).
The London Internet Exchange (LINX) warned last year that more adequately trained staff and financial resources - rather than new laws and police powers - are essential to success in combating on-line crime.
Following publication of the report from the Inspectorate of Constabulary, LINX regulation officer Malcolm Hutty said: "The report highlights the need for the police to have the training and the technology needed to deal with high-tech crime.
“Politicians need to recognise that simply enacting new laws is not sufficient to combat new types of criminal behaviour. What is needed is more highly-trained police officers and more specialist supporting resources to enforce existing legislation.
"LINX hopes that this will be reflected in the Home Office review of E-crime strategy which is now overdue for publication."
LINX - the world’s largest volume Internet exchange - has for many years provided government departments and law enforcement agencies in the UK and overseas with expert advice on a wide range of Internet-related legislation and other issues. Earlier this year it received a special award from the Internet Watch Foundation in recognition of its efforts to eradicate child abuse images from the UK Internet.
Notes to editors:
1. London Internet Exchange (LINX) is the world’s largest volume Internet hub and the UK’s largest membership organisation for Internet services providers (ISPs). A non-profit organisation founded in 1994, it operates high-capacity switching facilities at six London-based tele-hotels where its 170-plus members interconnect their networks to provide customers with rapid, cost-effective data transmission. LINX handles around 90 per cent of UK Internet traffic and its members include ISPs from the UK, continental Europe, the USA, Far East and Africa.
2. LINX co-founded the Internet Watch Foundation in 1996 as the UK's first hotline for reporting and removing child pornography from the Internet and remains a major IWF funder.
3. The Internet Watch Foundation presented LINX chairman Grahame Davies with a special ‘Achievements and Champions’ award during a House of Commons lunch event in February 2005. The award recognised LINX’s efforts in the on-line battle against child abuse. Less than one per cent of the potentially illegal content found by the IWF is now hosted in the UK and reports to the IWF hotline dropped last year for the first time in its history as a result of the successful partnership with the Internet industry.
4. Keeping Safe, Staying Safe: Thematic Inspection of the Investigation and Prevention of Child Abuse is published by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary - see http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/hmic/hmic.htm. The report notes that "where Child Abuse Investigation Unit staff undertook the investigation of child abuse images on the internet as part of their remit they commented on a significant increase in workload; the fact that the level of continuing growth in this area of work was not being reflected in resourcing, and the lack of relevant training. In one force area, staff estimated that approximately one-third of their time was committed to these investigations which did not involve ongoing child protection concerns.
For more information contact:
The London Internet Exchange
Telephone: +44 (0)1733 207701
Michael Holland or Mike Lennox
Smye Holland Associates
Telephone: +44 (0)1733 564906
Published on: 12:00AM on 3rd March 2005