Europol launches website to help trace victims of child abuse

Europol is requesting the public's help in identifying the the origin of certain objects

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Exterior view of the Europol headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands | Image: Peter Dejong / AP/Press Association Images

Europol has launched a new website to help trace those that have been affected by child abuse. 

Europe's police agency launched a webpage which displays objects related to child sex abuse to help try and find the perpetrators and victims.

They hope that people will be able to identify the origin of certain items such as a logo on a bag or a shampoo bottle and alert someone who can contact the police by an anonymous tip-off or through social media.

The webpage titled Stop Child Abuse has images of 20 items from the background of an image with sexually explicit material involving minors.

They said that every other investigative avenue has already been examined so now they're requesting the public's assistance in identifying some of these objects.

Vital clue 

In Europol's words "We are convinced that more eyes will lead to more leads and will ultimately help to save these children."

They said the crucial thing is identifying the origin: "Once the origin of an object is identified, we will inform the competent law enforcement authority of the involved country to further investigate this lead and hopefully speed up the identification of both the offender and the victim."

Speaking about the new initiative, Europol Executive Director Rob Wainwright said: "In many of these cases the key breakthrough has been established through a small piece of information such as identification of objects in the background of the image that provide a vital clue to investigators.

"This innovative project seeks to use the global reach of the internet to allow the public to contribute to this investigation process and to play a real part in the global prevention of child abuse."