Report: Child abuse image offenses more than double in Yorkshire

a kid working on a laptop

According to the NSPCC, the number of child abuse image offenses reported by police in the Yorkshire and Humber region has increased by 57% in the past five years.

Statistics show that in 2021–2022, 3,614 child abuse image offenses were reported by the region's forces, up from 2,303 in 2016–2017.

West Yorkshire experienced the largest increase in reported offenses during that time, with an increase of 898.

Child abuse has "normalized," according to the child protection charity.

Through the Online Safety Bill, it has urged the government to appoint an advocate for children's safety.

Over 30,000 crimes involving the sharing and possession of indecent images of children were recorded last year, according to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request made by the charity. These crimes increased by 66% in the UK over the course of the previous five years.

According to the charity's statistics, more offenses were being reported by all police forces in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Hand on a tablet computer
A Freedom of Information request by the NSPCC revealed that South Yorkshire Police had logged 5,300 child abuse image offenses between 2016 and 2022.

According to a NSPCC spokesperson, unrestrained social media is "fueling the unprecedented scale of online child sexual abuse.".

According to research cited by the NSPCC, Snapchat is the social media platform that offenders use the most to share images of child abuse. According to the charity, the app was used in 43% of cases where platform data was provided by the police.

According to the report, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp were used in 33% of the cases where a website was flagged.

The new numbers were described as "incredibly alarming" by Sir Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC. He claimed that they represented "just the tip of the iceberg" of what kids were going through online.

As online sexual abuse runs the risk of becoming commonplace for a generation of kids, we frequently hear from young people who feel helpless and let down. ".

"The Government can make sure the Online Safety Bill systemically prevents abuse by creating a child safety advocate who stands up for children and families," said Sir Peter.

If we are still catching up to the widespread abuse that has been permitted to spread on social media in five years, he continued, "it would be inexcusable."

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