Rise in indecent images of children

Stock pic Online Grooming keyboard
Stock pic Online Grooming keyboard

The number of offences involving indecent images of children reported across the county rose by more than 50 per cent in three years.

Figures obtained from Nottinghamshire Police by the NSPCC show the number of offences of this nature went up from 51 in 2013 to 79 in 2015.

The total number of offences reported to all 45 police forces across the UK has nearly tripled over the last three years - from 4,530 in 2013 to 10,818 in 2015.

A total of 2,031 children were among those reported to police across the UK for indecent images offences over the last three years.

The rise has led the NSPCC to call for police to be given greater resources to tackle the growing threat, highlighting the responsibility of the UK’s digital industry in tackling the issue.

The children’s charity is urging parents to talk to children about the risks of sharing nude selfies on mobile phones and social media, as this may be partly fuelling the rise in offences by under-18s. An NSPCC survey recently revealed only half of parents knew that children taking nude selfies were committing a crime.

However, among those children reported to the police may be young people who have been found in possession of child abuse images. There has also been a big rise in adults caught with indecent images of children, showing the demand for this sickening material is still growing.

The charity warns that behind all the images is a child who has suffered appalling harm and may still be in danger today and a significant proportion of those who view child abuse images have an increased risk of acting out their desire to sexually abuse children.

Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive, said: “Over the last two decades, digital technology has fuelled an explosion in the production and consumption of child sexual abuse images that increasingly involves the streaming of live video.

“Committed leadership from government, and dedicated police operations have made a real difference. But the war on child abuse images is only just beginning. The internet industry must prioritise this issue by committing their expertise and work with the public and voluntary sector to find solutions.”