Indecent images '˜must be tackled'

The number of offences '¨involving the possession of indecent images recorded by Herts Police has more than doubled over the last three years.

Thursday, 15th September 2016, 12:00 am

101 indecent images 
offences were recorded in 2013, but by 2015 that figure had reached 246.

That was in line with 
national trends, which saw the number of offences soar from 4,530 in 2013 to 10,818 in 2015.

Child protection charity the NSPCC is calling for police to be given greater resources to tackle the problem.

Chief executive Peter Wanless said: “These figures clearly show that there is a growing problem of people viewing child abuse material and more needs to be done to tackle the issue.

“We want to see companies who operate online prioritise this issue by committing significant expertise and 
resources to preventing the publication and distribution of these images.

“Social network providers 
and other technology platforms must realise that they are the key enablers of online child sexual abuse and make a serious commitment to tackling it.”

The NSPCC has also expressed concern that the number of children reported to police for indecent images 
offences may include youths sharing naked ‘selfies’.

The charity recently published research indicating that only half of parents knew that children taking and 
sending naked pictures of themselves was illegal, whilst two out of five parents feared their children might be 
involved in ‘sexting’ but had not spoken to them about the risks.

Mr Wanless said: “Young people who are caught 
‘sexting’ put themselves at risk of sexual exploitation, grooming and cyber bullying, whilst they could also face the prospect of a criminal record if they are reported to police.”