The UK Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre has published the annual results for safeguarding children and tracking child sex offenders. In the last year, 414 children have been safeguarded or protected from exploitation and abuse as a direct result of the work of the UK's national centre for child protection.
The results - CEOP's highest ever yearly totals - are a direct outcome of the partnership model that CEOP operates, with its specialist teams working in tandem with local and international forces and the wider child protection community to the put the interest and security of children first.
CEOP's Annual Review and Centre Plan outlines the complete range of CEOP services and results and highlights the key areas that CEOP will be looking to tackle over the next 12 months. Primary amongst these is continuing to address the self-generated risk that children place themselves in, understanding and working in partnership to safeguard technological advances and focusing on specialist areas such as the trafficking of children and young people. It also covers the fact that CEOP will be taking the national lead for providing services and specialist support for instances when children go missing - a function it will pick up from 1 July 2011.
In the five years since CEOP was first set up, a total of 1,038 children have been safeguarded or protected, while 1,644 child sex offenders have been arrested. In addition, a cumulative total of 394 offender networks have been dismantled (132 in the last year).
Theresa May MP, the Home Secretary, has written the foreword for this year's plan. In it she sets the tone for the future: "These are tremendous results and I want to congratulate all of those within CEOP and those who work alongside them to protect children from harm.
"We want to build on these achievements, which is why CEOP will be an integral part of the new National Crime Agency.
"This will enable them to continue to lead law enforcement work protecting children at a national level and draw on wider resources and support to help keep even more children safe from harm in the future."