Find out what inspired us!
What Sets Us Apart
As the end of our time in law enforcement approached, we collectively decided that we had more to give in the fight to stop the sexual exploitation of children. We wanted to use our many years of experience to continue to support, advise and guide. The word ‘Onemi’ is ancient Greek and means ‘to help, to support to be useful’ and encompasses the basis of our mission statement.
Throughout our collective careers, we met people that led, supported, inspired, and had a lasting impact on each of us. One of these people single handedly changed the way that law enforcement approaches the investigation of crimes against children.
In the early 1990s the Swedish Police seized a large number of videos that contained evidence of child sexual abuse. After carefully analysing the videos and identifying geolocation indicators, they provided information to other European countries that they had children in their jurisdictions that had been sexually abused. Swedish Police subsequently received responses indicating that the victims had already been identified and the perpetrators had been arrested. This outcome resulted in funding from the EU STOP project and the creation of an image database that cataloged child victims into two categories "identified" and "unidentified". The database grew rapidly as the Swedish police received numerous requests from officers worldwide to determine the status of victims. With more pieces of evidence coming together, previously unknown victims were identified through the Swedish image database.
In 1999, Swedish Police demonstrated a computer program that could recognise images based on color and shape, at an Interpol conference. The head of Interpol at the time, (Ron Noble) was impressed and asked for a copy of the database to be housed at Interpol HQ in Lyon.
Sweden sent a police officer to Interpol to administer the new database, which would evolve into what we now know globally as ICSE (International Child Sexual Exploitation Database). This database plays a crucial role in identifying victims of child sexual abuse and has grown exponentially under the leadership, guidance, mentorship and vision of that Swedish Police officer... Mr. Anders Persson.
Anders is known globally amongst the expert groups in child protection as the ‘Grandfather of Victim Identification’ (VID) and has been the inspiration for much of the work members of Onemi have done during careers. He retired from the Swedish National Police in 2017 and has undertaken another role that is also significant to humanity – raising and looking after bees. Globally, bee populations have been in decline due to factors such as habitat loss, pesticide use, climate change, and disease. This decline is concerning not only for the health of ecosystems but also for the future of food production. It is essential to protect and support bee populations to ensure a healthy and sustainable environment for all life on earth. Which leads to our very subtle deference to Anders, incorporating his new found life caring for bees into the story of Onemi.
Why the Honeybee? Well, we love everything about this species of bee, especially the unique way that they work together, which provides some great similarities with the way the child protection community work – especially Victim ID experts, where the phrase ‘Sharing is Caring’ rings loud. Honey bees use a variety of signals to communicate. For example Scout bees who find a good nectar supply will recruit foragers by passing out samples of the nectar and “dancing” on the comb. The ‘waggle dance’ provides information on the presence, the quality, identity, direction and distance of the source, so enabling nest-mates to find and exploit it. Like the global sharing and search for the children in the pictures and videos that we find.
While Honeybees and the work that law enforcement agencies do may seem like two vastly different concepts, there are similarities when it comes to their roles in society.
Honeybees and law enforcement work in a highly organised and structured manner. Honey bees live in colonies with a strict hierarchy, where each bee has a specific job to do for the good of the colony. Similarly, law enforcement is organized into different departments, each with specific roles and responsibilities.
Honeybees and law enforcement rely on a division of labour. In the case of honey bees, different bees have different roles such as foragers, nurses, guards, and queen bees. Similarly, law enforcement personnel have different roles such as patrol officers, detectives, and forensic experts. Each individual's unique skills and abilities contribute to the overall success of the organization.
Honeybees and law enforcement work to protect their communities. Honey bees pollinate crops, which is essential for producing food for the community. Similarly, law enforcement officers work to maintain law and order, which is essential for the safety and well-being of the community.
Honeybees are known for their willingness to sacrifice themselves for the good of the hive. Similarly, law enforcement officers often put their lives on the line to protect the community. Both are willing to make sacrifices for the greater good of society.
So the bee is part of the Onemi psyche and represents how we view the world and one of the great men that made changes for the global good.