Monday 27 March 2023

Police ask schools for help in identifying child abuse victims


Dutch primary school teachers and other staff are to be asked for help in identifying the victims of child pornography.

The new Schoolalert system will make it possible for police and the prosecution department to ask schools for their input – on an occasional basis and under strict conditions, officials said on Tuesday.

Teachers who sign up for the system will be shown faces or clothing but no pornographic material, police said. Images will be wiped as soon as a child is identified.

‘The victims of online child abuse are often young children aged four to 12, so primary education offers the best chance of identifying them,’ police chief Ben van Mierlo said. ‘We expect 90% of primary schools will take part and will use the alert three to four times a year.’

Asking teachers for help, rather than making a nationwide media appeal will also reduce the impact on the young victims, Van Mierlo said.

A similar system is already in use in Germany and Austria with success.

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