Definite jump’ as hotline sees 50% increase in public reports of online child sexual abuse during lockdown

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:‘definite-jump’-as-hotline-sees-50-increase-public-reports-of-online-child-sexual-abuse-during

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