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NSPCC: Online training 'an absolute must'

Training for education, healthcare and children protection workers in technology used to abuse children online is "an absolute must", the NSPCC have said.

Jon Brown, the NSPCC lead on tackling sexual abuse, added:

Training to protect children from online abuse is an absolute must for those in social work, health, education and law.

It won't necessarily make them experts but will help them stay in touch with a rapidly changing technological world which poses a variety of risks for the young.

– Jon Brown NSPCC

'81% of carers' for abused children not trained in online

The overwhelming majority of professionals who care for abused children admit they have had no training in how to help children recover from the online element, a survey revealed.

A poll of 692 school nurses, health visitors, paediatricians, social workers, child protection advisers, family and education welfare officers, teachers and learning support assistants also found:

  • Of the 81% who said they had not been trained in how to help children recover from the online element of their abuse, 94% added they wanted that training.
  • 70% of those stated they had not received training in online risk assessment.
  • 95.5% saying they would value such training.

Read more: Carers for child abuse victims 'not trained' for online

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Carers for child abuse victims 'not trained' for online

Professionals looking after child abuse victims cannot properly support them because they are not trained to understand the technology used by perpetrators, academics have found.

Read more: 17 Brits held over 'child abuse streamed live from Philippines'

Online abuse
Carers looking after vulnerable children need more training in technology, a study found. Credit: PA

A group of University researchers revealed a black hole in the knowledge of education, health and children's services staff, as they cannot keep up with the online technology used to abuse children.

The study, carried out by researchers at Plymouth University and University Campus Suffolk for victims' charity Marie Collins Foundation, found pedophiles have become more ingenious in their use of technology to engage with vulnerable children.

However, the training available to professionals has not kept up.

Andy Phippen, professor at Plymouth University, said: "The fast pace of its development has in many cases left the authorities playing catch-up and while some now have policies in place, a huge amount of work is required to ensure those affected by online abuse receive the correct support."

Read more: Google to block abuse images

Pope Benedict 'defrocked nearly 400 priests for abuse'

Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests over just two years for molesting children according to a document obtained by the Associated Press.

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI Credit: REUTERS/Max Rossi/Kai Pfaffenbach/Files

The statistic, which relates to 2011 and 2012, emerged in the testimony of the Vatican's UN ambassador in Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, before a UN committee.

The Holy See has had to defend itself before the UN human rights committee this week following reports of widespread child abuse in the Catholic Church.

Previously, the Vatican has only revealed the number of alleged cases of sexual abuse it had received.

Police tracked abuse network through sex offender

An inquiry was prompted when Northamptonshire Police visited registered sex offender Timothy Ford and began tracking the international abuse network from obscene videos they found on his computer. He was paying to view live sex abuse and planned to move to the Philippines to open an internet cafe

The use of webcams to stream live abuse, particularly from the developing world, is a significant and emerging threat according to the NCA's CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) command.

Extreme poverty, the increasing availability of high-speed internet and the existence of a vast and comparatively wealthy overseas customer base has led to organised crime groups exploiting children for financial gain.

– National Crime Agency statement

Instead was jailed for eight-and-a-half years in March last year.Another member of the paedophile network, Thomas Owen, who had nearly four million images of child abuse when he was arrested, was jailed for seven years in July last year.

If you know of anyone who has been a victim of abuse contact Child exploitation an Online Protection Centre (CEOP) via its website or call +44 (0)870 000 3344.

Police target 'extremely dangerous' child sex offenders

The National Crime Agency said that a joint police investigation had identified "extremely dangerous child sexual offenders".

This investigation has identified some extremely dangerous child sexual offenders who believed paying for children to be abused to order was something they could get away with.

Being thousands of miles away makes no difference to their guilt. In my mind they are just as responsible for the abuse of these children as the contact abusers overseas.

Protecting the victims of abuse is our priority and that means attacking every link in the chain, from dismantling the organised groups who are motivated by profit through to targeting their customers.

– Andy Baker from the National Crime Agency

So far 15 children aged six to 15 have been rescued after being identified as victims. In some cases their own relatives sold them for abuse.

In the UK five of the 17 suspects arrested have been convicted, nine investigations are ongoing, one will face no further action and two are dead.

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Paedophiles 'streamed live child abuse from Philippines'

Police officers from Britain have joined forces with Australian and US investigators to smash a paedophile ring which streamed live child abuse from the Philippines.

The investigation, which has been going on for two years, focuses on what the UK's National Crime Agency calls "a significant and emerging threat", particularly in developing countries.

Police smashed a smash a paedophile ring which streamed live child abuse from the Philippines. Credit: Adam Peck/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Three other investigations are taking place into live streaming of child sex abuse, with 139 Britons among the 733 suspects.

So far 17 Britons have been arrested as part of the Philippines inquiry, Operation Endeavour, which has spanned 12 countries and has seen involvement from police in the UK, Australia and the US.

Abuse survivor pictured at care home

Margaret McGuckin, who went into care at the age of three, said that the abuse she suffered started almost immediately.

She said: "I'd be beaten, trailed around and be near drowned in baths or with disinfectant. To be slapped and beaten with hard canes... and be locked in dark cupboards and rooms for hours."

Margaret McGuckin went into care at the age of three.
Margaret McGuckin went into care at the age of three.

Watch - Survivor: 'There's no divide where abuse is concerned'

Survivor: 'There's no divide where abuse is concerned'

Margaret McGuckin, who went into care at the age of three, has said that the beginning of public hearings into allegations of historical child abuse in church and state-run homes in Northern Ireland is "like a dream come true."

Ms McGuckin told ITV News Special Correspondent Rageh Omaar the start of the inquiry: "It was like a dream come true. After all these years I really didn't think I would see this day."

She added that despite social and religious divides across Ireland, "there's no divide where abuse is concerned."

Openness urged in NI abuse inquiry

The chairman of the largest ever child abuse inquiry in the UK has appealed for openness from residential homes alleged to be responsible.

Sir Anthony Hart said victims would at last have the satisfaction of knowing that their stories were being listened to.

Inquiry panel members David Lane, Anthony Hart and Geraldine Doherty. Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire

"This may be a challenging process for everyone involved but it is our hope that everybody, whether from Government or from the institutions, who is requested to assist the inquiry will cooperate in a fair, a open and whole-hearted way so that this unique opportunity will not be wasted," said Hart.

More than 300 witnesses are expected to be called over the next 18 months.

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