Perpetrator identification must be a priority in investigations
In my last blog we looked at the benefits of victim identification. Organisations like Project VIC, of which Griffeye is a founding partner, are working with police and forensic investigators, Europol and Interpol to analyse images and videos in order to track down individuals involved in child sexual abuse cases.
Finding child victims is important in stopping further abuse from happening. Investing the time to find the perpetrators is equally important in ensuring criminal prosecutions can take place to stop abusive material from spreading online.
Sadly, our global police survey finds that many investigators do not have the time to give priority to the work needed to identify perpetrators:
- A third of police officers (34 per cent) say that identifying perpetrators is not prioritised in their organisation
- The same proportion of investigators (34 per cent) say that they have too much material to go through to have time to work on identifying perpetrators
- Four in 10 (43 per cent) say that they have too many cases to have time to work on identifying perpetrators
Jon Rouse is the head of Task Force Argos with the Queensland Police in Australia, a specialist unit targeting child sex offenders. He explains why perpetrator identification is such a challenge for police forces around the world:
“I would say law enforcement capability is stretched in all areas, peer-to-peer, anonymisation technologies, social media, web based cases, victim ID etcetera, and prioritising our work is the biggest challenge. However, I would also say that there is a definite shift towards prioritising victim ID as well as perpetrator ID.
“Identifying and saving victims is our main focus, but we also need to find the perpetrators to stop the abuse from continuing to happen. The Darknet, encryption and other anonymisation techniques do present challenges, however, they are not impossible to overcome.
“It requires a dedicated team of skilled professionals and we need to be as equally networked globally as the child sex offenders. Our work has shown that even with anonymisation techniques we can still find and arrest offenders and save children. Cooperation across borders and between law enforcement agencies, organisations and industry is the key to fighting child sexual abuse.”
How you can help
Our sister company, Griffeye, was set up as a dedicated resource to assist police investigators in solving child sexual abuse crimes. But the onus must not be with the police alone. Each of us have the responsibility to safeguard our communities and protect our children from harm.
NetClean offers two unique technology solutions – ProActive and WhiteBox – designed to help public and private sector organisations, Internet service and public Wi-Fi providers clean up any child sexual abuse content from circulation. The ProActive solution also makes it possible to identify, track and report illegal material to the police. Finding people with a sexual interest in children means we can stop both ongoing and future child sexual abuse.