New report: Grooming and sexual extortion of children
as well as voluntarily self-produced material
is on the increase
The NetClean Report is an annual report on child sexual abuse crime.
The NetClean Report 2018, released today, is the fourth report.
Gothenburg, Sweden, 29.11.2018 – Child sexual abuse material produced as a result of grooming or sexual extortion is very common in police investigations of child sexual abuse crime – and the number of images are on the increase. The most common type of material is images that have been voluntarily self-produced by children or adolescents for other purposes, but have made their way into collections of child sexual abuse material. This is also the material that is increasing most.
In the report 80 percent of the police officers state that images that have been produced as a result of grooming or child sexual extortion are common or very common in their investigations. Almost 50 percent state that this type of material is increasing. More than 90 percent of the police officers report that self-produced images that children have produced and posted or shared with others without coercion or extortion, are common or very common. As many (90 percent) report that this type of material is increasing.
“Voluntarily self-produced material can consist of undressed images which young people send to their girlfriend or boyfriend, or in some cases post online for other reasons, without a thought about what the images can be used for,” commented Anna Borgström, CEO of NetClean.
The Report shows that in cases of grooming, children are most commonly between the ages of 8-16 years of age, and in cases of sexual extortion between 11-16 years of age. One third of police officers state that they have seen children in grooming cases that have been 5-7 years of age, and 16 percent report that they have seen children who are younger than five. In cases of sexual extortion, one in ten police officers report that they have seen children who are 5-7 years of age, and seven percent report that they have seen children who are younger than five.
“We are surprised to see that children of such young ages are prevalent in these types of cases”, said Borgström. ”We see very young children in other types of child sexual abuse. However, in cases of grooming and sexual extortion children need to be able to read and write. Therefore we believe that many of the younger children become involved because their older siblings have been groomed or sexually extorted.”
The report also looks at several other issues relating to child sexual abuse crime. Set out below is a summary:
- One in 500 employees commit child sexual abuse crime on their work computer. (This data comes from the survey that NetClean undertook with businesses and organisations).
- 85 percent of the police officers have encountered organised forums and groups of offenders in their investigations. Some groups are known to contain thousands or hundreds of thousands of individuals.
- The majority of police officers have not encountered cryptocurrencies in their investigations. When they have been used, it is most frequently in connection with other types of crime such as drugs or fraud offences.
- Roughly 40 percent of the police officers report that it is common for offenders to manipulate images to hide identities or objects, or that they try to hide the image files. Encryption is the most commonly used technique.
- One in five police officers report that they have seen deepfakes in their investigations. Deepfakes can be created with the help of AI technology, and allow the producer to exchange one face for another in moving material.