INTERPOL welcomes new Italian centre for combating online child abuse

1 February 2008

ROME, Italy – Addressing the inauguration of Italy’s National Centre for Combating Online Child Abuse, INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble called for greater worldwide co-ordination between law enforcement, business and the public to protect children.

Mr Noble welcomed the opening of the centre as an example of the Italian authorities’ ongoing commitment to fighting the sexual abuse and exploitation of children and an essential resource for both national and international investigations.

In addition to gathering information on websites which feature sexual crimes against children, officers at the centre in Rome will liaise with Internet service providers so that access to these sites can be blocked and work with banking authorities to stop payments.

“When it comes to protecting our children from this type of crime, many countries have the best intentions, but it takes the resolve of governments, of police, of the private sector and of citizens to turn those intentions into action,” said Secretary General Noble.

“We have to seek greater co-operation with not only Internet service providers, but also with social networking sites and search engines, because combating the sexual abuse of children is a collective responsibility.”

Speakers at the inauguration included the Italian Minister of the Interior, Giuliano Amato, Vice-President of the European Commission Franco Frattini and Chief of the Italian State Police, Antonio Manganelli.

Italy also recently joined the Virtual Global Taskforce - an international partnership of law enforcement agencies to help protect children from online abuse.