More than 13,000 people sought help to stop viewing sexual images of children online in the last 12 months, a charity has revealed.
The Lucy Faithfull Foundation, which works to protect children and young people from sexual abuse, has released a report on its initiative to tackle the proliferation of indecent photographs of youngsters on the internet.
In just one year, 1,615 people called the charity’s confidential Stop it Now! Helpline, and 12,057 visited the website to access self-help resources.
As a result of the advice offered, callers and web visitors reported taking steps to control their behaviour, including stopping all internet or pornography use, installing controls and filters on devices, and informing partners or family members.
According to the police, finding preventative – and not just reactive – methods to reduce the number of those accessing indecent pictures is vital. With at least 50,000 people viewing images of children, enforcement alone cannot solve the problem.
Chief Constable Simon Bailey, the National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Child Protection, said: “In 2013, it was estimated that 50,000 people were viewing these images but we fear that number could have increased significantly.
“In response, forces are arresting more offenders and safeguarding more children than ever before. But enforcement alone cannot solve this problem – more needs to be done to prevent abuse in the first place. There are many people who offend or are yet to offend and want help to stop their behaviour.
“Our message to people viewing indecent images of children is get help or get caught.”
How can our criminal law solicitors help?
The Suffolk criminal law team at Gotelee is here to advise on any aspect relating to sexual offending.
You may be struggling with an offence of this kind, either before or after police involvement. Perhaps you are the relative of someone under investigation and would like independent and confidential legal advice or guidance on the likely outcome, before or after court proceedings have been commenced. Perhaps you are worried for a friend or relative and need to understand more about the process and the likely outcomes.
For more information, contact Hugh Rowland on 01473 298141 or email [email protected]