Number of crimes involving child abuse images soars by 66% in five years

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Number of crimes involving child abuse images soars by 66% in five years

The number of crimes involving child abuse images reported to police has soared by two thirds in just five years, data shows.Children’s charity the NS

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The number of crimes involving child abuse images reported to police has soared by two thirds in just five years, data shows.

Children’s charity the NSPCC said there were 30,925 recorded offences of the sharing or possession of indecent images of children in 2021-22 – a record high.

Just five years earlier the figure was 18,574, meaning numbers have surged by 66 per cent.

The charity, which obtained the UK-wide police data under freedom of information laws, said the 2021-22 figure included nearly 10,000 cases in which social media or a gaming site was used to distribute the illegal images.

Of those, Snapchat was recorded 4,293 times, Facebook 1,361, Instagram 1,363 and WhatsApp 547, it said.

There were 10,000 cases in which social media or a gaming site was used to distribute the illegal images, with Snapchat being the most commonly used, according to the NSPCC

There were 10,000 cases in which social media or a gaming site was used to distribute the illegal images, with Snapchat being the most commonly used, according to the NSPCC

There were 10,000 cases in which social media or a gaming site was used to distribute the illegal images, with Snapchat being the most commonly used, according to the NSPCC

A number of cases involved children being groomed online into sharing indecent images of themselves, the charity warned.

It called on ministers to introduce tough new measures to combat the problem in the Online Safety Bill, which is currently going through Parliament.

Sir Peter Wanless, the NSPCC chief executive, said: ‘These new figures are incredibly alarming but reflect just the tip of the iceberg of what children are experiencing online.

‘We hear from young people who feel powerless and let down as online sexual abuse risks becoming normalised for a generation of children.’

The charity called on ministers to introduce tough new measures to combat the problem in the Online Safety Bill, which is currently going through Parliament

The charity called on ministers to introduce tough new measures to combat the problem in the Online Safety Bill, which is currently going through Parliament

The charity called on ministers to introduce tough new measures to combat the problem in the Online Safety Bill, which is currently going through Parliament

He called for the creation of an official ‘child safety advocate’ to hold tech giants to account.

‘It would be inexcusable if in five years’ time we are still playing catch-up to pervasive abuse that has been allowed to proliferate on social media,’ Sir Peter added.

The NSPCC also found virtual reality headsets are being used to view child abuse images.

Virtual reality was recorded eight times by police forces in crime reports, the first time this technology has been specifically mentioned, the charity said.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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