Monday, March 15, 1999 Published at 09:00 GMT
UK police aid Thai paedophile crackdown
Bangkok street children often turn to prostitution
By South East Asia Correspondent David Willis
It is the latest move in a joint initiative to clamp down on paedophiles and sex tourists in Thailand, many of whom are thought to come from the UK.
The detectives from Northumbria will be training Thai colleagues in the latest forensic and interviewing techniques and preparing them to compile video evidence that will withstand scrutiny both in Thailand and in the UK.
The two weeks of training are also designed to enhance intelligence sharing, following the passing of laws which allow British courts to prosecute Britons caught committing sex offences abroad.
Quarter-of-a-million child prostitutes
It is estimated that about 250,000 children work as prostitutes in Thailand.
The country's burgeoning child sex industry has proved a magnet for paedophiles from around the world.
Some who have been convicted of offences in the UK are known to have moved to Thailand once their sentences were served.
A children's charity group says it has identified more than two dozen convicted British paedophiles who are now living in Thailand.
In some cases they have been able to return to abusing children simply because local police have not known how to go about investigating a complaint of child sex abuse.
It is hoped that will change once the Northumbria detectives have completed their work.