A SENIOR councillor has welcomed plans to crack down on paedophiles online.
At an international summit in London yesterday, prime minister David Cameron said new measures would be put in place to catch criminals.
He unveiled a package of measures including a new offence of sending sexual messages to children aimed at stopping paedophiles from requesting indecent images from youngsters.
He also announced that crime-fighters and spies will join forces to tackle persistent paedophiles who use the so-called ‘dark net’ to share horrific pictures and videos.
Councillor Neill Young, cabinet member for children and education at Portsmouth City Council, who also works for Hampshire Probation Service, said he welcomed the measures.
‘Obviously the showing of any indecent images is wrong and what is important is that the issue has been raised,’ he said.
‘It has been made very clear that we need to ensure that all children are safe and that these images are disturbing. We need to raise awareness of this issue. As a city council, we are doing everything we can to safeguard children. I am very grateful that people who view these images will be dealt with severely.’
As The News has previously reported, the city council’s strategy to tackle child sexual exploitation has recently been praised by the children’s minister Edward Timpson.
He was speaking at the Local Safeguarding Children Board conference in London.
Mr Timpson said: ‘Safeguarding children is, and always will be, one of the most important jobs in any society.
‘In Portsmouth, for example, the inspectorate found a strong use of data across agencies to scrutinise front-line performance, effective handling of serious case reviews, and the development of a good strategy to tackle child sexual exploitation, in which the Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Board played a crucial role.’
Peter Wanless, the chief executive of the NSPCC, said: ‘Child abuse imagery, increasingly violent and degrading in nature, is an international problem requiring international solutions. The internet does not recognise borders and neither should our efforts to achieve justice.’