‘Heroes wanted’ for major expansion of child sexual abuse taskforce unit

New figures show dozens of cases of child grooming in Cambridgeshire. Picture: John Challicom

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is launching “the biggest recruitment drive in its history” - Credit: Archant

A charity that keeps the internet safe is recruiting for a specialised taskforce across Cambridgeshire to tackle “surging levels of online child sexual abuse”. 

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is launching “the biggest recruitment drive in its history” in a bid to rid the internet of images and videos of child sexual abuse. 

The IWF say they are looking for dedicated, diligent, and resilient people to join its team in Cambridge to take on “a task that most people would dread”. 

The people chosen for this work view images from the UK Government’s Child Abuse Image Database (CAID). They are the only non law-enforcement agency allowed to do this. 

Once they have assessed them according to UK law, the images are hashed – a process which reduces them to a unique digital fingerprint used by tech companies and police all over the world.

This allows them to be blocked and removed rapidly, wherever criminals may attempt to share them. 

Susie Hargreaves OBE, chief executive of the IWF, said: “Tracking down and identifying this harmful material is at the very core of what we do at the IWF. 

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“Dealing with this material calmly, while maintaining a good eye for detail, and approaching everything with compassion and care, really takes a special kind of person.  

“We really are looking for heroes. 

“Working at the IWF is not for everyone, but for our staff, knowing they have taken thousands of images and videos of child sexual abuse off the internet, helping prevent the future revictimisation of victims, and even helping rescue children from abusive, dangerous situations, makes this the most satisfying job in the world.” 

The IWF is now looking to fill 10 new posts. Nine image classification assessors, and one quality assurance officer.  

These roles are all part time. Successful applicants must view criminal material, meaning the job is office based only.  

Though the taskforce will be dealing with some of the worst child sexual abuse content on the internet, there is robust help and support available, including mandatory counselling sessions, for everyone on the team. 

To find out more about these roles, and the work the IWF does, visit: https://www.iwf.org.uk/about-us/who-we-are/careers/ 

Book a free place at the IWF’s open evening on January 13 here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/iwf-recruitment-virtual-open-evening-tickets-225870764537 

Images and videos of online child sexual abuse can be reported anonymously at https://report.iwf.org.uk/en