Call for action to stop ‘vile trade” in indecent images

PUBLISHED: 14:33 26 October 2012

Figures reveal 103 arrests were made in Devon and Cornwall last year.

A leading children’s charity is calling for urgent action to stamp out the “vile trade” in indecent images of children - after figures revealed 103 arrests were made in Devon and Cornwall last year.

The NSPCC has appealed to the Government to act after these figures were released by Devon and Cornwall police following a freedom of information request.

The NSPCC’s head of services for the South West, Sharon Copsey, said: “The number of these dreadful images is absolutely appalling.

“The truly awful thing is that more and more children are being abused so these pictures can be produced and, once in circulation, they may stay there for many years.

“If we can halt this vile trade, we will be saving countless children from suffering sexual assaults which have a huge impact on their lives.”

Figures also show that since 1995 the number of people convicted in England and Wales has risen from 85 to 1,495 in 2011.

Ms Copsey added: “The authorities are working hard to clamp down on this, but there are still far too many pictures available. It’s time the Government and industry got together to find an answer to this corrosive problem which cannot be allowed to continue.”

“It’s time the government and industry got together to find an answer to this corrosive problem which cannot be allowed to continue.

“There are obviously paedophile rings which make a sordid business of sharing these images. But, there are now so many in circulation that people from all walks of life are getting caught with them.

“They have to understand these are not just images - they are crime scenes. ”

In responding to the FoI request Devon and Cornwall Police said it would take too long to interrogate files to see how many pictures of children being sexually abused had been accumulated during investigations.

In 1990, prior to the Internet becoming more popular, the Home Office estimated there were just 7,000 hard copy images in circulation in the UK. However, now it is believed at least five times that amount are being confiscated on a daily basis.


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