In one week 196 suspected paedophiles have been arrested for forcing young people to participate in live stream abuse.
Police fear that paedophiles are turning to live streaming as a way of grooming their victims. The National Crime Agency (NCA) has identified almost 250 potential victims, with approximately one third of the youngsters being forced to send indecent images of themselves across the internet or stream live abuse.
The usual pattern of behaviour is that the paedophile will pose as a teenager and persuade the victim to send an indecent image of themselves. They will then blackmail the victim into sending more extreme images of themselves or persuade the victim to take part in the abuse of other people.
The NCA are concerned that the recent arrests are only the, “tip of the iceberg”. Will Kerr Director of Vulnerabilities at the NCA has said that the “agency is currently arresting about 400 people a month for sharing indecent images of children on peer to peer websites.”
In September, Paul Leighton a British paedophile was jailed for 16 years for, “blackmailing children on the other side of the world to live stream the abuse of younger relatives.”
The NCA together with the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) have launched a campaign to “warn parents to be alert to the damagers of live streaming and warn their children of the risks.”
Chief Constable Simon Bailey the lead for child protection at the NPCC has made the following statement;
“In just one week, police forces and the NCA arrested 192 offenders on suspicion of child sexual abuse offences and prevented 245 children from coming to harm. We will keep working together to do this, adapting our approach so that nowhere online is safe for people out to groom children or view them being abused. But we also need help. We need internet companies to help us stop access to sexual abuse images and videos and prevent abuse happening on their platforms. We need parents and carers to talk to their children about healthy relationships and staying safe online.”
Zoe Hilton, the NCA’s Head of Safeguarding, said: “We know that as children’s online habits change, offenders are adapting with them. These individuals are learning how young people communicate online and are using this knowledge to contact, befriend and abuse them. Offenders will take advantage of the fact that young peoples’ inhibitions are lower online so we’re also encouraging parents to talk to their children about what a healthy relationship looks like and how to spot when someone might not be who they say they are.”
Jordans Solicitors represent victims of abuse. If you have been affected by issues involving sexual abuse images on the internet please contact one of our expert child abuse lawyers on 0800 9555 094 for a confidential discussion.