In 2011 CEOP awarded BAE Systems Strategic Partner status in recognition of the impact its technology and the specialist skills of its staff have made in increasing the speed at which CEOP can locate and safeguard vulnerable children and identify and apprehend those who sexually exploit and abuse children. To be awarded Strategic Partner status, BAE Systems had to demonstrate how it has helped transform the UK's response to tackling child sexual exploitation.
The Strategic Partnership allows for a variety of work to be undertaken, as prioritised by CEOP. This predominately consists of:
- Tactical support to live operations - where BAE Systems provides technical advice and specialist capabilities to assist investigators and analysts.
- Capability development – where BAE Systems builds solutions for the long term to improve organisational performance or procedural efficiencies.
- Technology horizon scanning to inform decision making around new capability requirements.
Working with CEOP to safeguard children
Safeguarding children is the most important factor in any operation so being able to establish who is most at risk and finding them as quickly as possible drives much of our effort on all operations. Using our knowledge of how communications technologies can be exploited and how to analyse large volumes of data at speed we help CEOP improve the effectiveness of its operations. Our technology, and the ability of our staff to use advanced ‘big data’ analytics to quickly and accurately process vast quantities of data about online child sexual exploitation, enhances the law enforcement community's response to these crimes.
In some cases, our analysis can even help CEOP develop the evidence it needs to establish the identity and whereabouts of a new victim or previously unknown child sex offender. Bespoke tools profile suspects, identify risk factors and disseminate prioritised intelligence dossiers in a fraction of the time CEOP used to take in sifting through large volumes of online content manually.
In 2014 we supported CEOP on Operation ‘Notarise’. The NCA coordinated the operation, with CEOP as lead Command, and it involved all 45 police forces in UK. We worked on this operation for several months and it led to the arrest of 660 suspected paedophiles and the safeguarding of over 400 children across the UK. Some of those arrested had unsupervised access to children in the course of their work. They included doctors, teachers, scout leaders, care workers and former police officers. Of the 660, 39 people were Registered Sex Offenders but the majority of those arrested had not previously come to law enforcement’s attention.
The operation targeted people accessing indecent images of children online. The NCA has not revealed the methods they used to track down suspects so that they can use the same tactics again in the future.
We are fully committed to our Strategic Partnership with CEOP and look forward to developing this into the future, to make an even greater difference to protecting children and young people both in the UK and abroad.
“One of the principal areas we receive support from BAE is through the staff you embed into CEOP who work alongside our law enforcement officers and child protection advisors. The input they provide every day continues to be outstanding and there are numerous examples of how your team has directly enhanced operations over the last year.
In particular, in Operation Notarise – an unprecedented six-month operation coordinated by the NCA – our BAE attachment developed bespoke automation tools that saved CEOP an estimated 10 years of effort. Without this support we could not have carried out the operation in the way we did and achieve such widespread results. Notarise led to the safeguarding of over 400 children across the UK and the arrest of over 660 suspected paedophiles.”
Johnny Gwynne, Director, National Crime Agency CEOP Command