PIER holds third annual conference

Published: 20 July 2021 at 10:41

PIER’s third annual conference was held online, on 29 and 30 June. Entitled PIER21: Tackling Online Child Sexual Abuse Conference: A focus on offenders and protecting children, the conference concluded the Online CSA Workshop and Conference series and was aimed at professionals and researchers responsible for safeguarding children and providing victim services.

With over 250 attendees from various police forces, government agencies, charities and organisations working to combat online CSA, key researchers and practitioners in the field came together to update the audience on the latest research and work going to tackle this growing crime.

Day one showcased what is being done to combat the CSA threat, the latest technology available to law enforcement colleagues targeting abusers and the emergence of new threats. Day two focussed on prevention and intervention to demonstrate why working with offenders and the families of offenders is such an important element of a multi-faceted approach to tackling the issue.

The conference also coincided with Simon Bailey’s last two days in post as NPCC Lead for Child Protection and he took the opportunity to share with delegates his reflections and observations about what has been achieved to date and what the future challenges are.

Over the two days we heard from 22 speakers including:

  • Rob Jones, NCA
  • Professor Mark de Rond, Cambridge University
  • Professor Sarah Brown, University of the West of England
  • Professor Peter Lee, University of Portsmouth
  • Professor Kieran McCarten, University of the West of England
  • Professor Heather M. Moulden, McMaster University, Canada
  • Professor Rachel Armitage, Huddersfield University
  • Dr Nadia Wager, Huddersfield University
  • Professor Ethel Quayle, University of Edinburgh
  • Donald Findlater, Lucy Faithfull Foundation
  • Professor Pamela Taylor, Cardiff University
  • Susie Hargreaves, Internet Watch Foundation

Christian Papaleontiou, Deputy Director, Tackling Exploitation and Abuse Unit, Home Office rounded off the two days by giving his thoughts and reflections on the current fight against CSA and the recent Home Office strategy to combat it.

PIER21 was covered in the media including articles in The Times, ITV, BBC, The Daily Telegraph, The Evening Standard and the Eastern Daily Press.

Comments taken from delegates included:

"Brilliant conference. Best virtual one I have been to. Thank you."

"This conference was jam packed with speakers and good value for money."

"The conference was really interesting and raised many challenging questions, but also highlighted that huge amount of great work that has been/is being conducted. The conference was really well organised and the technology was great."