The Office of National Statistics has revealed the police have recorded over 9,000 incidents of online child sexual abuse offences in England and Wales between October 2017 and September 2018.
It was revealed that child sex crimes using the internet made up 16% of the total child sexual offences for that period. The online incidents include rape, sexual assault and grooming committed against children.
The NSPCC have raised concerns that the figures may not show the true extent of the actual problem and fear that the number could be considerably higher. The NSPCC’s concerns are that the crimes are under reported and under recorded. They do not feel that the figures are an accurate reflection of the online crimes committed against children.
The NSPCC has started a campaign called #WildWestWeb and is calling for an independent regulator. The regulator would have the power to investigate and then potentially issues a fine for social networks that that does not protect children.
Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC said:
“It is time social networks were made to take responsibility and stopped allowing their platforms to be used as gateways for these devastating crimes. Sites must be forced to create safe accounts for children and take proactive steps to detect grooming so this behaviour can be disrupted before it escalates.”
“We urge the public to sign our petition calling on Government to introduce an independent regulator which has the power to fine social networks that fail in their duty in protecting children and young people from abuse.”
The NSPCC are calling on the Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright to tough regulation for social networks in order to protect children.
If you have been a victim of child abuse and would like to speak to one of our specialist abuse lawyers in confidence, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can advise you on the available options for pursuing a civil damages claim. Jordans successfully represent and secure compensation for numerous victims of abuse and are experts in overcoming the particular challenges that arise in these sensitive cases. Our abuse team can be contacted free on 0800 9555 094 or you can request a call back.