Hysteria and zealotry
Firstly, let me say I am a parent and abhor the abuse - any form of abuse - of children. I support any productive and proportionate moves to protect children.
But I also abhor the hyperbole and hysteria surrounding this issue. Proportionality seems to have flown out of the window. Witch hunts do nothing for victims and nothing for justice.
Hysteria will be increased, not soothed, by the recent press-released spin from CEOP. Jim Gamble has become a tad too messianic for comfort over the past few years, a man obsessed. When he says "...we are infiltrating your worlds, understanding your minds in order to limit deviant behaviour..." I don't feel reassured, I feel queasy. This is the tone of Orwell's Ministry of Truth. Gamble, you may be well-intentioned but increasingly you're sounding like a scary fucker!
As others have pointed out (above), the figures are not nearly as impressive as the spin would have you believe. To quote the article again 'Almost one million images of child abuse were processed by Ceop in its second year. Such intelligence gathering led directly to the identification of 18 young victims of abuse.' For a start, I very much doubt it was a million *different* images. But if it was, 18 identifications out of one million is not exactly a high hit rate.
Again, look at the statement 'Major operations shut down six paedophile rings, all with international links.' How does it protect the *average* victim of child abuse to throw so much money at smashing these fabled 'international peado rings' when the vast majority of abuse is perpetrated by the victims' own family or their friends? Shannon Matthews, for example, wasn't abducted by an international ring of perverts - her mother, step-father and colluded in an attempt to defraud the McCann fund.
I also question the perceived prevalence of abuse. The Gambles of this world (and some zealots in NSPCC and local social services departments) would like us to think that every child in Britain is either being sexually assaulted or is in imminent danger of being assaulted. Of course sexual abuse is a real problem; of course it happens. But I never encountered it during my childhood or teens and no friend or aquaintance ever mentioned it either; neither of my sons ever mentioned sexual abuse happening to them or anyone they knew; and as an adult I have never met anyone who claims to have been sexually abused as a child.
What is needed is more common sense on this issue, less paedo-hysteria, and fewer - far fewer - press releases from Jim Gamble and all the other self-serving vested interests in the child protection industry.
Finally, to the commenter above "Being a paedophile myself... " You make good points and you are a brave person for 'coming out' - you deserve respect on that count.
Excuse me while I board up my doors and windows as I DBAN all my hard drives and melt my CD back-ups. Jim'll be round any minute now...