The 17th Europol training course on 'Combating the Online Sexual Exploitation of Children on the Internet' (COSEC), held in Selm, Germany, at the LAFP-NRW Police Academy, concluded on 21 October 2016.
This ten-day course provided training for 65 representatives from EU Member States, non-EU States (Albania, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Israel, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, New Zealand, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United States), Europol and Interpol. Principally aimed at law enforcement investigators the course was also attended by a prosecutor from one of the Member States. The training was delivered by police trainers from Europol, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal and one from Ireland on behalf of INHOPE all of whom have extensive knowledge and experience in investigating and combating the sexual abuse of children online.
The training follows the European Cybercrime Centre's (EC3) approach to cybercrime and its training ethos. The approach is collegial, with expert trainers and investigators working in the field of child sexual exploitation coming together to network and exchange experiences. The main objective of this annual course is to enhance the expertise of those working in this crime area in the EU and beyond, so that they are better able to investigate and dismantle child sex offender networks on the Internet, with the rights and safety of the children involved being a priority. This year the course provided extensive victim identification training to investigators.
In addition to lectures, ranging from perpetrator psychology and the latest online investigation techniques to international cooperation, the course programme included a wide range of hands-on exercises with the intention of aligning law enforcement investigation standards.
Since the first course took place in 2000, this highly respected Europol course has provided expert training to approximately 800 law enforcement officers and members of the judiciary from EU Member States and from countries around the world.
Training global law enforcement resources to work together using the latest developments in technology and investigation techniques is the most effective way to combat the transnational nature of Online Child Sexual Exploitation. This course delivered with assistance from international subject matter experts is an excellent example of the commitment law enforcement has to tackle the significant threat of Online Child Sexual Exploitation. Mr Steven Wilson, Head of Business at Europol's EC3