Surge in reports of online child abuse

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A CONFIDENTIAL hotline used to flag criminal content online has seen a 40 per cent surge in the number of reports of child pornography.

The hotline, run by the charity Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), also recorded a 42 per cent increase in the number of images which feature the sexual abuse of children aged ten and under and a 32 per cent rise in the number of images showing the rape and sexual torture of children.

The charity analysed the number of reports for the six months between October 2012 and March 2013 and compared these figures to the previous year.

IWF chief executive Susie Hargreaves said: “We are staggered by the increasing number of criminal images showing younger and younger children being raped and tortured.

“These images aren’t simply dots on a screen – behind each is a child being sexually abused and making us aware of these images can enable us to remove them and help police rescue these victims.”