Online child sex abuse in United Kingdom has risen by 700% according to to a key government agency.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) reported that child sex abuse on the internet has increased at a dramatic and unbelievable pace over the past five years. According to new figures, more than 82,000 child sex abuse images had been referred to the agency last year, an increase of 700 percent from 2012.
The head of the NCA also says that internet giants such as Facebook are failing in their “social responsibility” to tackle the abuse and should fund police investigations to help deal with the soaring threat.
The Home Office say that the images being uncovered are getting more graphic, with abuse of babies and children under 10 becoming more frequently documented. The Home Secretary Sajid Javid warned he would “not be afraid to take action” against tech giants if they do not help to tackle child sexual abuse online.
Press TV reports: The NCA said a recent week-long crackdown on online child sex offenders in Britain saw more than 130 suspects, including an ex-police officer, a children’s entertainer, and five teachers, arrested. It added that 165 children were saved from harm in the same period.
Rob Jones, a director at the NCA, said more and more people across the UK were using the dark web on the internet and technologies like end-to-end encryption to evade detection while harming children.
“We are seeing an increase in the number of sophisticated offenders using the dark web to groom and harm children on the mainstream internet,” said Jones.
Surge in online child sexual abuse images in the UK: The government must urgently set clear legal standards for social media & web platforms, & hold companies to account if they fail to protect children from online abuse, @ECPATUK tells @TRF_Storieshttps://t.co/yKjFcRfS8h
— Every Child Protected Against Trafficking (@ECPATUK) September 3, 2018
The police and government have said that at least 80,000 people in Britain are estimated to pose a sexual threat to children online.
The new data has stoked fears about the growing sexual exploitation and enslavement of children via technology both in the United Kingdom and around the world.
David Westlake, head of the anti-slavery charity International Justice Mission, said very young children were becoming victims of a “deeply disturbing global crime.”
“These latest figures from the NCA should be a wake-up call in highlighting how serious the problem of online sexual exploitation of children is,” said Westlake.