More child sexual abuse material is in circulation than ever before
Crimes against children remains a huge challenge in our society. Worryingly, the number of cases are on the rise and there seems to be no sign of a reversal any time soon.
Our recent survey backs this view. The report finds that 81 per cent of police officers say that the quantity of images and videos that show child sexual abuse has increased during the last three years.
Comments from the law enforcement officers taking part in the study reinforce the findings, and include: “The case load has greatly increased, and each case has almost doubled in the amount of data processed” and “I have seen both a rise in production as well as more copies of what are becoming well known series.”
The good news is that authorities outside of law enforcement are now waking up to the fact that this is a serious threat to our society and are actively doing something about it. The UK government, for example, has launched a dedicated cybercrime unit to tackle serious crime rings and the sexual abuse of children on the Darknet. But this is just the start of a long journey ahead.
Cecilia Wallin-Carlsson from the Swedish Police, National Operative Department NOA explains why:
“This pattern of an increased caseload, increased quantity of materials and a more demanding situation for the police is also true in Sweden. Apart from this, there is a large number of unreported cases, which never come to our knowledge.
“More individuals who commit abuse themselves are also part of this development. To gain access to others’ new abuse, it is usually necessary to share one’s own, and this is instigating even more abuse.
“Our mobile reliant culture has made it easier for perpetrators to record, view and share child sexual abuse material anytime, anywhere.”