Internet crimes against children are on the rise and yesterday Police Director General, Juan Cotino, called for tougher laws and penalties in Spain so the authorities can come down harder on paedophiles and child pornography. Cotina made the recommendations during his closing address to the 130 delegates at the 17th conference of the Interpol group which specialises in crimes against children, in which he said that the introduction of tougher penalties “will only serve to help society.” Cotina said that while Spanish “cyberpolice” and local forces have been successful in combating child pornography on the Internet, there are organised cells in Spain which specialise in producing pornographic material with which the conference is concerned about. Over the past three days, the conference has heard how, apart from the very large and very few paedophile rings such as Wonderland, in western Europe most of the sex offenders operate individually and do not fit a certain stereotype. Cotina told delegates attending the Palma conference from across the world, that it is the former Soviet Union, parts of Asia and South America where organised paedophile rings are more commonly found. He pointed out that ”the problem is that there is a lack of harmonisation of legislation, which is why the affected countries need to adopt a greater level of co-operation with the west and international police forces,” hence the bi-annual conference.

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