The SPIRTO project finished on 31 May 2015. This website remains online as a reference archive.
We examined 472 anonymised cases from the International Child Sexual Exploitation image database (ICSE DB), of children under 18 years who had been identified in the UK as appearing in online sexual images (which were, or could be, illegal under UK law).
In the UK the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) is the hub for the International Child Sexual Exploitation image database (ICSE DB). This database is managed by Interpol and provides a powerful intelligence and investigative tool that allows specialised investigators to share information with colleagues on a global basis. It was launched in March 2009 as the successor to the Interpol Child Abuse Image Database (ICAID), which had been in use since 2001. CEOP is part of the UK National Crime Agency and its operations faculty also incorporates the United Kingdom’s only national victim identification program, which works solely to focus on identifying child victims of online abuse and to support investigators in sharing any intelligence that can be gathered from seized images. The information in the database relates to children, identified through image analysis and specialist and routine policing, whose images meet the criteria for indecency across most jurisdictions (see Gillespie, 2010). At the beginning of 2013, the ICSE DB included data on 3,000 identified victims from more than 40 countries, as well as data related to numerous unidentified victims, whose cases are yet to be investigated.