Tees LSCB Procedures News

This page gives further information and relevant links for the news item selected.


Child internet porn 'getting worse' and victims 'younger'

The level of sexual abuse and violence carried out on children whose suffering is posted on the internet "seems to be getting worse", MP's have heard.

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre director Peter Davies said victims appeared "to be getting younger and younger".

He told the Culture, Media and Sport Committee the dissemination of pictures of abuse had become "industrialised".

Most victims were under the age of 10, with images including rape, MP's heard.

Mr Davies said the biggest transfer was directly from "peer to peer". But much of the "worst we have seen" was distributed via the "hidden internet", which required special software and evaded search engines - and was also used by criminal gangs to organise the drugs trade.

Mr Davies said: "What we trying to deal with is appalling aspects of human behaviour to some extent facilitated by the internet."

The showing of the images was "industrialised to a quite remarkable extent".

Approximately half the websites distributing the images were based in the United States, he added.

Mr Davies repeated the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre's estimate, given earlier this year, that about 50,000 people in the UK will commit offences "at least to the level of possessing indecent images of children".

Some children were "blackmailed" into performing sex acts, with abusers telling them that pictures would be put online or sent to their families and friends via social media unless they continued to comply, he added.

Susie Hargreaves, chief executive of the Internet Watch Foundation added that 81% of the children featured in the images appeared to be under the age of 10.

For more on this story and related articles, please see the BBC News website.

[Text © 2013 BBC News]