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National Crime Agency plans new system for reporting online child abuse


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The National Crime Agency (NGA) is aiming to provide electronic service providers with a new system for reporting child abuse.

It has set out to develop a ‘DRB (designated reporting body) front door’ for reporting bodies over 2023, working with a budget managed by the Home Office’s Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation Abuse Unit (TCSEU), and has published a market notice for support in the project.

The move has come in response to elements of the Online Safety Bill that will require an update to established workstreams at the NCA. The agency believes that its existing systems will not be suitable once the changes are implemented.

Electronic service providers such as social networks are likely to be the primary users, uploading data for analysis by NCA staff.

It has stated it has a trio of critical success factor to be achieved by the end of 2023: to secure ingestion of uploads into its back end systems; to enable the output of management information to third parties; and to provide user management functions within the front door.

It has also outlined two main deliverables: a public facing web application, currently named the DRB Front Door, to ingest data from a pre-approved set of users; and an interface to back end systems expected to include an API.

The Government’s Tackling Child Sex Abuse Strategy includes a heavy emphasis on online offences, with a commitment to ensure there are no safe spaces for offenders to exploit children online. It says a prime element will be to work with industry on ensuring online platforms prevent grooming, livestreaming and sharing of sexual material.


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