Website snares its first online grooming offender

September 3, 2006

On-line reporting works – sentencing of first UK child sex offender prosecuted following on-line report

The Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT), a global law enforcement initiative designed to track and convict people preying on children has today seen its first prosecution in the United Kingdom (UK) following an on-line report to the VGT website by a child.

This particular investigation was carried out in partnership with the Nottinghamshire Police force.

Lee Costi, 21, from Haslemere, Surrey, was sentenced to nine years at Nottingham Crown Court after admitting to three counts of meeting a child following sexual grooming, three counts of sexual activity with a child, two counts of making indecent images of children and possession of 43 indecent images of children.

Children are able to go on-line to report suspicious grooming activity and other communication direct to the VGT, which is monitored by an international alliance of law enforcement agencies bringing together partners across the UK, Australia, the United States of America and Canada as well as Interpol. The VGT collaboration sits within the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) launched on April 24th 2006 in London.

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