The number of child abuse image offences recorded by police in Essex has risen by 35 per cent in a year, the NSPCC has revealed.
New figures obtained via Freedom of Information requests to every police force found an offence was recorded on average every 23 minutes in 2017/18 in the UK, and that the number of offences has risen by almost a quarter in a year to 22,724.
Last year (2016/17), Essex Police recorded 568 offences and the figure has risen to 767 in 2017/18.
The charity is warning that offenders are using social networks to target children for abuse online, grooming and manipulating them into sending naked images. Without adequate support the impact of this abuse can last a lifetime.
A single offence recorded by police can involve hundreds of indecent images of children.
The NSPCC’s #WildWestWeb campaign is calling on Government to prevent abuse from happening in the first place by introducing an independent regulator to hold social networks to account and tackle grooming to cut off the supply of these images at source.
Last month, an NSPCC survey of 40,000 young people revealed an average of one in 50 schoolchildren had sent a nude or semi-nude image to an adult.
The NSPCC’s #WildWestWeb campaign is calling on Government to create an independent regulator to hold social networks to account. Join the NSPCC’s campaign and sign the petition online.