PAEDOPHILES will be handed the same treatment as terrorists under a crackdown on child abuse to tackle sickening “training manuals” published on the internet on how to groom victims.
Prime Minister David Cameron has claimed that he wants to close a loophole that allows sexual predators to produce and possess the “manuals” giving tips on how to identify victims, groom them, and then evade capture.
In future, child sex offenders will face the same kind of sanctions as extremists who download guides to bomb-making in guidelines which are due to be set out in the Queen’s Speech.
The issue came to light after GCHQ and the National Crime Agency found online examples of the guides in the chaotic part of cyberspace known as the “dark web”.
The Prime Minister said: “It’s completely unacceptable that there is a loophole in the law which allows paedophiles to write and distribute these disgusting documents.
“I want to ensure we do everything we can to protect children –and that’s why I am making them illegal.”
The new law is expected to be in force by the time of the General Election next year, and could be implemented in an amendment to the Obscene Publications Act 1959, according to the reports. The Terrorism Act 2000 outlawed terrorist training manuals.
The move was announced after it emerged a paedophile teacher drugged and abused up to 60 boys as young as 10 at a British private school. William Vahey, who taught history and geography at Southbank International School in London from 2009 to 2013, committed suicide last month as FBI agents closed in.
The NSPCC’s chief executive, Peter Wanless, said: “We would welcome any change in legislation that tackled offenders using the dark web and other online areas to distribute these vile ‘how to’ guides on child abuse. But far more needs to be done – and fast – to tackle online child sex offenders.
“The Government must ensure police have the investigative capacity to infiltrate and disrupt the networks of offenders hidden online, so these disgusting criminals are brought to justice.”