PSNI Educational Advisor wins top award
21 May 2009
Dympna Thornton, the Police Service of Northern Ireland's Educational Advisor was recognised as one of the UK's leading figures in the fight against the sexual abuse of children after receiving a coveted award last night (Wednesday 20 May) from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre.
CEOP - the UK's national law enforcement centre for tackling the sexual exploitation of children - used the opportunity to announce record results with 346 children safeguarded, 714 arrests, 166 high risk sex offender networks dismantled and over four million children and young people empowered through the Thinkuknow education programme since the organisation was launched in April 2006.
Partnership is the hallmark of CEOP's approach and Dympna Thornton has been recognised for her role in going the extra distance in helping the Police Service in it's work by receiving the 'Children's Champion 2009' Award.
Dympna Thornton was nominated for her role on the delivery of Internet Safety lessons to Police Officers in schools in Northern Ireland. Officers from Police Service have received excellent training and resources from CEOP and actively promote safe use of modern technology to young people, their teachers and their parents. Children can be vulnerable, regardless of their social or educational situation, and this is a great way of breaking down those barriers which may still exist in pockets of the community in Northern Ireland.
Speaking after the ceremony Dympna Thornton said "I am delighted, and privileged to have been nominated and won this award. This is recognition of the great work which our police officers do every day in schools and colleges across Northern Ireland. Without their hard work and commitment, I would not be here to accept this award."
The awards, which over the last three years have been presented to over twenty organisations and individuals, aim to recognise those who have gone the extra mile in tackling the sexual abuse of children.
Nominated by staff at the CEOP Centre, the winners range from front line police officers to industry organisations, all of whom have a vested interest in the safeguarding of children and young people.
Jim Gamble, Chief Executive of the CEOP Centre: "Working together in partnership is key to tackling the crime where many children and young people feel they do not have a voice. We would not be able to achieve the results we do without the tireless efforts of those organisations and individuals who really do make a difference.
"I would like to thank and congratulate the winners of our latest awards, not only on behalf of the CEOP Centre, but of those victims whose lives have been changed for the better following their efforts.