by Ralph Riegel in The Irish Independent
WORK by an internet watchdog has led to the arrest of a Briton in Thailand on paedophile charges including savage sexual assaults against boys as young as seven.
The COPINE Project - operated at University College Cork by Prof Max Taylor - was last night singled out for glowing praise by a top British policeman for their brilliant work in hunting down paedophiles and child pornographers.
Greater Manchester Police Inspector, Terry Jones, said the arrest of the 24-year old Briton could not have taken place without the pioneering UCC unit.
COPINE (Combating Paedophile Information Networks in Europe) is its is known for its dedicated work in tracing and then hunting down paedophiles. It has been copied by other security services worldwide.
"This was a brilliant joint initiative between COPINE and the Greater Manchester Police," said the professor. "This is the third major arrest the COPINE Project has been involved in with GMP and it results from sharing intelligence and working together."
Tragically, new research by Prof Taylor and his UCC team revealed a total of 50 new children per month are appearing in pornographic material on websites.
Worst of all, COPINE intelligence shows the bulk of the new children appearing are sourced from disadvantaged parts of Eastern Europe, South America and South East Asia - and there is a growing involvement of organised crime in the whole industry.
Prof Taylor warned that new information shows, despite COPINE helping identify 40pc of the children in pornography in Britain and Ireland, the total is just the "tip of the iceberg" in terms of the actual number of youngsters being exploited and abused.
"The problem is, who regulates the internet," Prof Taylor asked? "The web has made access to child pornography much easier."
Posted by Colm at January 18, 2003 03:44 PM
COPINE was founded in 1997 in UCC's Department of Applied Psychology.