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Police alone cannot stop the demand for child abuse images

08 Nov 2016

The NSPCC have provided an estimate into the potentially shocking scale of people who are now viewing child sexual abuse images. The online child sexual abuse images: tackling demand and supply report highlights the urgency of the challenge in tackling the creation and distribution of these images.

National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Child Protection, Chief Constable Simon Bailey said:

"While we may never know the full extent of people viewing child sexual abuse images online, the estimate provided by the NSPCC highlights the potentially shocking scale of what we are now dealing with.

"Tackling online child sexual exploitation is a national priority for law enforcement and we are pursuing more offenders and safeguarding more children than ever before. This activity has led to an average of around 450 children protected and 375 offenders' arrested every month, and these figures continue to grow. We are investing more resources to tackle this threat, including the creation of dedicated undercover officers to target those who pose the greatest risk.

"We agree with the NSPCC that the police alone cannot stop the demand for child abuse images and more needs to be done to prevent abuse in the first place. Further work is needed to reduce the availability of imagery, provide support to people with an inappropriate sexual interest in children and to raise levels of understanding around the risks of taking and distributing indecent images of children.

"For example, the Lucy Faithful Foundation is vitally important in helping people and giving them access to appropriate services. People accessing indecent images or with an interest in doing should stop and contact the Lucy Faithfull Stop it Now helpline on 0808 1000 900."

Full NSPCC report - https://www.nspcc.org.uk/globalassets/documents/research-reports/online-child-sexual-abuse-images.pdf