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Thursday, 13 September 2018

Webwatch: Offences of viewing indecent images of children up a quarter, NSPCC

Written by Sam Blewett

Police are discovering child abuse image offences on average every 23 minutes, according to the NSPCC.

Recorded crimes of viewing indecent pictures or videos of children rose by a nearly quarter from last year to more than 22,700, the charity said on Thursday.

The figures came after the Home Secretary warned internet giants including Google and Facebook that they could face new laws unless they redouble efforts to tackle online child abuse content.

As part of its "wild west web" campaign, the NSPCC reported figures from Freedom of Information requests to each police force in the UK showed 22,724 offences were recorded in 2017/18.

This was up from 18,522 the year before.

The charity's head of child safety online, Tony Stower, said: "The lack of adequate protections on social networks has given offenders all too easy access to children to target and abuse.

"This is the last chance saloon for social networks on whose platforms this abuse is often taking place."

Crime Minister Victoria Atkins said Mr Javid expects "immediate action" from technology giants.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire.