Turning the tide on online child sexual abuse

Turning the tide on online child sexual abuse

Police Foundation

One of the biggest challenges facing policing and law enforcement is how to respond to the growing challenge of online child sexual abuse (CSA). A new report published today by the Police Foundation shows that this is a volume crime. In 2021 US tech companies discovered 21.7 million incidents in which child sexual abuse material (CSAM) had been shared on their platforms, 30,000 of which resulted in referrals to UK police. Added to this, there has been a surge in the number of victims reporting online abuse. Over 6,000 offences were reported to the police in 2020-21, an increase of 400 per cent compared to just four years earlier. This surge in reporting poses a number of challenges for the police. Perhaps most significantly the police lack the capacity to respond to the growing levels of reporting. Within police forces CSAM caseloads can mount up, creating delays in the delivery of potentially time-critical safeguarding interventions.

Read the report here.

Photo by Patrick Ryan on Unsplash