Last week, Jim Gamble resigned his position as Chief Executive of CEOP, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre, in protest at the government’s plans for the body (he’s set to leave in four months time).
The government is currently considering merging CEOP into the new National Crime Agency (NCA), and Gamble tendered his resignation because he felt that child protection was such an important issue, it needed its own dedicated organisation.
Now Gamble has been further discussing the ramifications of such a merger. He’s said that vulnerable children are bound to be worse off, and won’t be able to compete with terrorism, drugs, and other weighty issues which the National Crime Agency will deal with.
A number of supporters have backed Gamble’s views in this respect, such as the Shadow Home Secretary, Kate and Gerry McCann, the mother of Sarah Payne, and the Association of Chief Police Officers.
Also, Gamble has now drawn attention to the fact that CEOP costs will likely increase under the new scheme of things. ISPs who provide assistance in tracking offenders for free to CEOP at the moment might charge a larger body such as the NCA an administration fee.
Furthermore, current philanthropic backers may pull their support from the organisation. According to a ZDNet UK report, Microsoft is considering pulling its money if CEOP is merged.
ZDNet stated that Gamble told the Home Affairs Select Committee: “I have a statement from Microsoft… they feel it extremely unlikely that they will continue philanthropic support of CEOP.”
A quarter of CEOP’s current budget comes from donors such as Microsoft and AOL.