There has been a 50% increase in reports of child sexual abuse material from members of the public to the Internet Watch Foundation during lockdown.
New data shows the IWF, which is the UK charity responsible for finding and removing images and videos of child sexual abuse from the internet, received 44,809 reports from members of the public between March 23 and July 9 this year.
In the same period in 2019, the IWF received, 29,698 reports – meaning there has been an increase of about 50% while the UK was under lockdown.
Of the public reports, 5,367 reported URLs were found to contain images or videos of children suffering sexual abuse and were actioned by the IWF. During the same period in 2019, the IWF actioned 3,252 reports. This is an increase of 65%.
The increase over this period was noticed predominantly in March with 11,689 public reports. This was coupled with the start of the UK lockdown on March 23. A heightened level of public reporting has been noted in each subsequent month. In May, the IWF received 41% more public reports, and in June they received 80% more public reports than in June 2019.
In March, members of the public were advised by the UK government to stay at home to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Full Report: https://www.iwf.org.uk/news/‘definite-jump’-as-hotline-sees-50-increase-public-reports-of-online-child-sexual-abuse-during
The IOPC in collaboration with its Youth Panel has published a new guide for police officers which highlights tips for when they come into contact with children and young adults.
The poster can be downloaded in English here:
Poster in Welsh here: https://policeconduct.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Documents/research-learning/CY_tips_when_you_come_into_contact_with_young_people_Welsh.pdf
Learning Lessons Magazine – Young People (IOPC)
The Independent Office for Police Conduct publishes an occasional magazine called ‘Learning the Lessons’ to help improve police policy and practice.
Issue 37 focussed on young people and includes an interesting case where a safer schools police officer was called in to help calm a 13-year old girl who had had a disagreement with another pupil.
“The police officer told the girl he was going to put handcuffs on her until she calmed down. The assistant headteacher recalled the police officer saying “I’m not arresting you…” However, the officer had in fact arrested her and then later dearrested her without informing her of the arrest.
When to call the police (National Police Chiefs’ Council)
The NPCC has produced guidance for school and college staff in England where students have potentially committed a crime. It sets out guidance on what schools and colleges should bear in mind when considering contacting the police. This advice covers the following situations:
- Criminal damage
- Cyber crime
- Sexual offences
Download the document here: https://www.npcc.police.uk/documents/Children%20and%20Young%20people/When%20to%20call%20the%20police%20guidance%20for%20schools%20and%20colleges.pdf
The Government has now published the new version of Keeping Children Safe in Education. Statutory guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding children and safer recruitment.
This is statutory guidance from the Department for Education (the department) issued under Section 175 of the Education Act 2002, the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014, and the Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015. Schools and colleges in England must have regard to it when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. For the purposes of this guidance children includes everyone under the age of 18.
The department issued non-statutory interim guidance on safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers during the coronavirus outbreak. This guidance has now been withdrawn as the government expects all settings across the nation to reopen for the new academic year in September, with full availability to all learners. Requirements for local interventions in educational settings will continue to be reviewed.