“The matter is being dealt with by external lawyers,” said a spokesman. Its shares fell as much as 1.6 percent on Friday. A spokeswoman for House of Fraser said: “We are confident that we have been operating within all laws and regulations and are very supportive of any initiative which ensures pricing policies are fair for our customers.” (Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Christine Murray and Mark Potter) @yahoofinance on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook Related Content Chart Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the “Enter symbol/company” at the bottom of this module. You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes. Search for share prices Terms Quotes are real-time for NASDAQ, NYSE, and NYSEAmex when available. See also delay times for other exchanges . Quotes and other information supplied by independent providers identified on the Yahoo! Finance partner page . Quotes are updated automatically, but will be turned off after 25 minutes of inactivity. Quotes are delayed at least 15 minutes. All information provided “as is” for informational purposes only, not intended for trading purposes or advice. Neither Yahoo!
In the past two years CEOP has investigated 12 cases where children were blackmailed into performing sexual acts on a webcam. According to figures from the police forces in the UK and abroad, 424 children have been a victimized and have being forced to submit to online sexual blackmail in some form. Among them, 184 belonged to the UK. Most of the British children targeted were boys aged 11 to 15. Britons were disproportionately targeted because they spoke English, and in the apparent belief that liberal values in this country were likely to make them more susceptible to ‘online grooming’ , CEOP said. The CEOP centre has been involved in 12 operations where blackmailing children into performing sexual acts has been a clear motive of the offender. Research also shows that of those victims, seven children seriously self-harmed or attempted to take their own life. The CEOP centre, which will become a command within the National Crime Agency from next month, has also found that in some cases, children are not only made to exchange sexual images/videos of themselves, but also forced by offenders to perform other acts live on webcam including writing degrading statements on their body and cutting themselves. The children are usually forced into performing these acts after the offender, who often initially pretends to be a child, threatens to share their naked pictures or chats with friends and family unless they do as they are told. In one of the cases, an offender even collated his images of blackmailed victims in a folder named ‘slaves’ . Once the child has sent the images, the offenders begin blackmailing them either for more of such indecent images or, in few cases, even for cash. And unless the child agrees to do what the offender says, they will then threaten to share the child’s pictures with family and friends.
UK children blackmailed to perform sex acts online
A Foxtons estate agent sign is seen outside a branch in north London September 3, 2013. Credit: Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett By Kylie MacLellan LONDON | Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:15pm BST LONDON (Reuters) – British property agent Foxtons (FOXT.L) enjoyed a strong stock market debut on Friday, seeing its stock rise well above its offer price in what could be seen as a vote of confidence in the housing market particularly in London where Foxtons is focused. Shrugging off some concerns that its core property market might be overheating, the shares opened 19 percent above the 230 pence offer price – itself at the top of a targeted range between 190p and 230p – to value the company at around 775 million pounds. By 1425 GMT they were trading at 271.5p. Foxtons sold 60 percent of its equity to become the latest UK property-related company to float on the back of a recovering housing market, following real estate agency Countrywide (CWD.L) and housebuilder Crest Nicholson (CRST.L) earlier this year. Both have seen their shares rise more than 50 percent since going public, but some investors said last week Foxtons was late to the party and too exposed to London. While Britain’s housing market has been boosted by signs of an improving economy as well as help from the government and the Bank of England to ease access to finance, the pace of recovery has raised concerns about a new property bubble. Data last week showed British house prices recorded their fastest rise in almost seven years. However, despite being wary of proposed further government stimulus measures, housebuilding analyst Tony Williams said London was not yet experiencing a market bubble and rising interest rates in coming years would act as a natural brake. “A bubble is when you have people buying and flipping within the space of months. What you have in London is a shortage of supply and a planning system that gums up the works,” he said. “This particular run will end some time between the back end of 2014 and 2016, as rising mortgage rates will cause the market to plateau,” Williams added. Foxtons, which last year earned more than half its revenue from its lettings business, is focused on expansion within London, home to 40 of its 42 branches, and has said it is aiming for five to 10 new branch openings a year between 2014 and 2018. But analyst Anthony Codling at brokerage Jefferies said that while estate agents were the best way to gain exposure to the UK housing market, prospects were better for nationwide firms. “We see more significant potential for house price growth outside of London than inside,” he said in a note.
UK Anti-Corruption Efforts Are Getting Serious
They are not likely to be the last. Reports suggest the Serious Fraud Office and the City of London police, the agencies responsible for enforcing the law, are investigating up to 25 additional cases. Just as Bribery Act enforcement begins to hit its stride, the government is preparing to provide prosecutors with new tools: deferred prosecution agreements and sentencing guidelines. Both new mechanisms are intended to will provide greater clarity and predictability in future prosecutions. Deferred prosecution agreements allow companies to admit wrongdoing as part of a negotiation to suspend a criminal investigation. Such agreements are common in the US enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and the US experience will serve as a model for the UK approach. The details are still being ironed out, but the a draft of the code conveys the basics: any company that enters into such an agreement must still pay a hefty fine, implement tough compliance measures, and agree to external monitoring of compliance efforts. Should a company fail to sufficiently implement the compliance measures, the suspension will be lifted and the prosecution for the original offense will proceed. Moreover, deferred prosecution agreements may not be offered to all companies, depending on the severity of the offense and the promptness of the companys disclosure. The Crime and Courts Actthe law that will allow for deferred prosecution agreementsis expected to take effect in February of next year. When it does, it will reduce the number of lengthy investigations that prosecutors must conduct, and it will provide companies that have erred a chance to make a clean break from past malpractice while avoiding the most severe penalties. As for those penalties, in June the UK Sentencing Council issued a draft set of guidelines for sentencing individuals and companies convicted of fraud, bribery and money laundering.