The Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) was setup in 2003 as a direct response to lessons learned from investigations into on-line child abuse around the world.
It brings together law enforcement agencies from around the world and helps them work to make the Internet a safer place for children. The mission of the Virtual Global Taskforce is:
- to make the Internet a safer place;
- to identify, locate and help children at risk; and
- to hold perpetrators appropriately to account.
The Virtual Global Taskforce comprises the National Crime Squad for England and Wales, the Australian High Tech Crime Centre, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the US Department of Homeland Security and Interpol.
The Virtual Global Taskforce delivers innovative crime prevention and crime reduction initiatives to prevent and deter individuals from committing on-line child abuse.
On-line child abuse includes searching for, sharing and downloading images of children being physically and sexually abused and grooming children in, for example, chat rooms with the intention of committing sexual abuse both on and off-line.
A website providing a wide range of information, advice and support was set up in 2005 and includes advice on how to stay safe online, details of how to report abuse and offers support to victims and children at risk.
The website also gives a clear message to those who use the Internet to search for images of child abuse or groom children for sexual abuse, that the Internet is not an anonymous place where they can carry out their activities and that law enforcement is active online.
The Virtual Global Taskforces website can be visited by going to www.virtualglobaltaskforce.com and includes news, details of the VGTs partners, current initiatives, frequently asked questions and much more.
There is also a separate section aimed at children with tips, advice and links to useful websites.