New partnerships between the IWF and police continue to develop whilst we strengthen existing law enforcement relations. Our partnership with police and industry has proved extremely successful in facilitating the swift and comprehensive removal of content within our remit from UK servers. These procedures rely on effective relations with national, regional, and local policing agencies, particularly the The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre Opens in New Window and the Metropolitan Police Opens in New Window, including the Abusive and Extreme Images Unit, with whom we liaise regarding obscene adult content.

We also have good relations with UK Police Forces Opens in New Window throughout the UK. Our Hotline team regularly meets police colleagues to share expertise and intelligence and support relevant investigations and prosecutions with the provision of information and evidential statements.

We engage in reciprocal training with a number of police units, for example regarding image assessment, website tracking, and international tracing techniques. This ensures our procedures and judgements are up-to-date, informed by the most recent case law, and reflect decisions being made by our law enforcement partners. It also means we can share our specific skills with police officers increasingly operating in the criminal online environment.

A Service Level Agreement (PDF 219KB) between the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) outlines the processes for managing UK hosted criminal internet content.  

As the majority of the content we deal with has no explicit UK link and is hosted overseas, we have strong intelligence sharing arrangements with Hotlines and police forces around the world. The IWF is a member of the European Financial Coalition (EFC) Law Enforcement Working Group, which is a CEOP led, Europe-wide, multi-agency approach to the investigation and disruption of commercial websites selling child sexual abuse content and the criminals behind these networks. The working group consists of law enforcement representatives from amongst 27 EU member states alongside the IWF and we are committed to the provision of intelligence and analysis to facilitate the investigative activity of our EFC colleagues.

Please note: The IWF uses the term child sexual abuse content to accurately reflect the gravity of the images we deal with. Please note that child pornography, child porn and kiddie porn are not acceptable terms. The use of such language acts to legitimise images which are not pornography, rather, they are permanent records of children being sexually exploited and as such should be referred to as child sexual abuse images. If you see such content online please report it to the IWF.  

Co-funded by the European Union Safer Internet Thinkuknow INHOPE UK Council for Child Internet Safety Investors In People Child rights Connect Nominet European Financial Coalition