Home   News   National   Article

‘Police log more than 10,000 online child sex crimes in a year for first time’


By PA News

Easier access to your trusted, local news. Subscribe to a digital package and support local news publishing.



Records of online offences are up 16% on the previous year, data obtained by the charity suggests (Peter Byrne/PA)

Online child sex crimes logged by police in a year have passed 10,000 for the first time, according to figures obtained by the NSPCC.

Under freedom of information requests, the charity found that 10,391 cyber-related offences were recorded by all forces across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands between April 1 2019 and March 31 2020 – a 16% increase on the previous year.

It is feared the number could be even greater now as the data relates to before lockdown, a period which saw Childline counselling sessions about grooming on the web go up.

This brings the total number of recorded offences in the five years since it became mandatory to record whether a crime involved the internet to more than 37,000.

These figures suggest that online abuse was already rising before lockdown, and the risks to children appear to have spiked significantly since
Andy Burrows, NSPCC

The charity is demanding the Government make Online Harms legislation, designed to better protect vulnerable people, a priority this autumn.

“These figures suggest that online abuse was already rising before lockdown, and the risks to children appear to have spiked significantly since,” said Andy Burrows, NSPCC head of child safety online policy.

“It is now almost 17 months since the Government’s original proposals for social media regulation were published and children continue to face preventable harm online.

“At the Hidden Harms Summit, the Prime Minister signalled he was determined to act.

“That’s why he needs to prioritise making progress on a comprehensive Online Harms Bill this autumn, and pass legislation by the end of 2021, that sees tech firms held criminally and financially accountable if they put children at risk.”

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

Keep up-to-date with important news from your community, and access exclusive, subscriber only content online. Read a copy of your favourite newspaper on any device via the HNM App.

Learn more


This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More