Nine child abuse image offences are being recorded every week by Surrey Police

September 13, 2018
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Recorded child abuse image offences have surged by more than 70 per cent in the last year according to figures obtained by the NSPCC.

According to information obtained following a freedom of information request it can be seen that 484 offences were recorded in 2017-18 up from 285 in 2016-17

This means that one average more than one child abuse image offence was being recorded by Surrey Police every single day.

A single offence recorded by police can involve hundreds of indecent images of children. While UK authorities work to remove child abuse images from the internet new images are constantly uploaded.

Last month an NSPCC survey of 40,000 young people revealed an average of one in 50 school children had sent a nude or semi-nude image to an adult.

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In addition, in 2017, the Internet Watch Foundation identified over 78,000 URLs containing child sexual abuse images.

New NSPCC figures, obtained via Freedom of Information requests to every police force across the UK, found that the number of child abuse image offences recorded by police increased by almost a quarter in a year to 22,724 – the equivalent of one offence every 23 minutes in 2017/18.

Responding to the figures the head of Surrey Police’s paedophile online investigation team, Detective Inspector Martin Goodwin said: “While the rise in recorded offences of child abuse images shows there are still perpetrators out there, it also demonstrates we are working harder than ever to bring them to justice.

“We have a specialist unit of dedicated detectives who, through intelligence led investigations, target those using the internet to commit offences against children, either through sharing of images or direct contact with victims.

Child abductions have hit a five year high in Surrey

Child abductions have hit a five year high in Surrey
(Image: Pixbay)

“In the last year there have been advances in the technology we use to detect the criminal activity of sharing indecent images of children, which has naturally seen the number of recorded offences rise.

“My message to perpetrators is that if you are committing such offences, it is only a matter of time before you are arrested.

“Sharing and viewing indecent images of children is not a victimless crime as they contain images of real children who are going through an unthinkable ordeal. This is sadly often forgotten when a file is shared or downloaded between people online.

“We work closely with external agencies such as the NSPCC and Children’s Safeguarding Services, together with these agencies we have built trust and confidence, which has resulted in more victims coming forward and having the courage to report online abuse.

“Perpetrators can seek professional support to prevent your offending from www.stopitnow.org.uk or the Lucy Faithful Foundation.”

The NSPCC Wild West Web campaign

The NSPCC is warning that offenders are using social networks to target children for abuse online, grooming and manipulating them into sending naked images. Without adequate support the impact of this abuse can last a lifetime.

Their #WildWestWeb campaign is calling on Government to introducing an independent regulator to hold social networks to account and tackle grooming to cut off the supply of these images at source.

Tony Stower, NSPCC’s head of child safety online, said: “Every one of these images represents a real child who has been groomed and abused to supply the demand of this appalling trade.

“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.”

You can join the NSPCC’s campaign and sign the petition online .

More information about online grooming, also referred to as Child Sexual Exploitation, can be found www.surrey.police.uk/CSE

Internet safety tips for parents and guardians

  • · Keep the computer in your family room where you can monitor your child’s activities and spend time online together to show your child proper behaviour and rules
  • · Become more computer literate – get to know the sites your child uses, what type of information they offer and whether there are ways to block out inappropriate material
  • · Help your child to understand some people lie online and it’s better to keep online mates online. They should never meet up with any strangers without an adult they trust
  • · The internet is not a private space – advise your children not to post any pictures, videos or information on their profiles or in chat rooms that they would not want a parent or guardian to see
  • · Never give out personal information online such as your home address, telephone number or child’s school name
  • · Always keep in mind that you leave information about yourself behind as you move through the internet
  • · Some websites collect information called ‘cookies’. Cookies are compiled lists of information that may include your name, address, telephone number and possibly even your credit card number. Find out how to turn off your cookies – contact your internet provider for help if you need it
  • · Never allow a child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they have met online without your permission. If a meeting is arranged, make the first meeting in a public place and accompany your child to the meeting
  • · If in doubt, contact the police
  • · Do not allow your child to respond to messages or bulletin board items that are suggestive, obscene or threatening. Forward a copy of such messages to your internet service provider
  • · Do not allow them to access private chat rooms unless you are present
  • · Consider using an online service that has special child accounts with restricted access to chat rooms and the internet
  • · Monitor your credit card bill. Many pornographic internet sites require credit card payments in order to gain access.

Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/nine-child-abuse-image-offences-15144347


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