Live updates

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.

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.


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.

HMS Illustrious returns after Philippines aid mission

A couple kiss on the jetty after the junior officer disembarked HMS Illustrious when the ship returned to Portsmouth Royal Navy Base. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

HMS Illustrious has returned to Portsmouth Royal Navy Base almost a month later than planned after the ship was diverted to the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan.

Captain Mike Utley, the commanding officer, hugs his youngest daughter Beatrice. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

The 550-strong crew disembarked to cheers from their loved ones who were waiting on the jetty.

An officer spots a loved one from aboard HMS Illustrious, which returned almost a month later than planned. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

The 23,000-tonne ship had been due to return to base before Christmas, but while it was operating in the Gulf it was diverted to the Philippines to relieve Type 45 destroyer HMS Daring, which was among the first ships on scene to offer aid.

HMS Illustrious had been diverted to the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Illustrious will undergo essential maintenance in Portsmouth before deploying again later in the year.

Death toll from Typhoon Haiyan surpasses 6,000

The death toll from Typhoon Haiyan in the central Philippines has surpassed 6,000, with nearly 1,800 people still missing, officials said.

The government's disaster response agency said 6,009 have been confirmed dead while 1,779 remain unaccounted for.

A man lights a candle as he pays respect to his relative at a mass grave where victims of Typhoon Haiyan are buried. Credit: Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha

The November 8 typhoon is the deadliest natural disaster on record to hit the Philippines.

Major Reynaldo Balido, spokesman for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said at least 20 bodies are still being found daily under debris in the hardest hit city of Tacloban.

The homes of more than 16 million people were either flattened or damaged, and officials say rebuilding will take at least three years.


Boy raises £4,000 for Philippines typhoon victims

An 11-year-old boy has raised over £4,000 for the children affected by the Philippines typhoon with a little help from Olympian Sir Chris Hoy.

After seeing news coverage of the Philippines disaster last month which is estimated to have affected over 15 million people, Charlie Simpson decided to take action by organising a 25-mile bike ride.

Charlie Simpson, aged 11, training with Sir Chris Hoy in Richmond, West London

The schoolboy, from Fulham, has so far raised more than £4,000 for Unicef's Philippines children's emergency appeal which will provide clean water, food and medical supplies to those in need.

Sir Chris Hoy was even on hand to provide some last-minute tips.

Sir Chris Hoy was even on hand to provide some last-minute tips. Credit: PA Wire

After completing the challenge in just under four hours in Fulham's South Park, Charlie said: "It was really, really hard but at the end I felt quite proud of myself.

"I saw all of the pictures of the typhoon on the news and it made me feel sad. I felt I had to do something about it and I wanted to help the children in the Philippines get food, water and shelter.

"I didn't anticipate quite how far it was. When I got to 30km, I got quite tired. But then I thought of the children in the Philippines, and decided: 'I've cycled 30km, I can do another 10km.'

Donations from British public help 1.6m typhoon victims

Donations from the British public has helped 1.6 million people affected by the typhoon which devastated the Philippines.

Since the disaster struck last month, £73 million has been raised in the UK to fund crucial aid.

More than 15 million people are estimated to have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Credit: Reuters

The money is helping to build temporary shelters and provide much-needed clean water, food and medical care.

More than 15 million people are estimated to have been affected by the disaster, with the death toll believed to stand at 5,700.

  1. Meridian

HMS Illustrious personnel help repair school

Personnel from HMS Illustrious have enabled 450 children in the Philippines to return to school after repairing the building as part of their ongoing humanitarian mission.

HMS Illustrious personnel help children return to school Credit: Crown Copyright 2013

Royal Navy Merlin, Sea King and Army Lynx helicopters from Illustrious are sweeping the region to identify the worst hit areas before teams are despatched to help people to recover from the effects of Typhoon Haiyan.

HMS Illustrious personnel help children return to school Credit: Crown Copyright 2013

One such recent mission was the repair of the school on the island of Calagnaan to the north east of Panay. A specialist team of twenty men and women were deployed to carry out the work. The efforts of the team will allow 450 children to return to the school.

HMS Illustrious personnel help children return to school Credit: Crown Copyright 2013

British medics save lives of typhoon children

British medics aboard HMS Illustrious have carried out life-saving operations on two children left with infected limbs in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, International Development Secretary Justine Greening has told MPs.

Justine Greening posted this image of a helicopter from HMS illustrious delivering aid to cut off islands. Credit: Twitter/ Justine Greening

Ms Greening told the Commons that along with the medical success stories, around 800,000 people in the Philippines are thought to have received help from the UK aid effort.

"This military support has been crucial in delivering relief to the more remote islands, including the provision of emergency medical assistance through the UK international trauma team," she said.

Load more updates