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Police Join Campaign Tackling Indecent Images Of Children

Police in West Yorkshire have joined forces with a child protection charity to tackle the growing demand for indecent images of children.

Police in West Yorkshire have joined forces with a child protection charity to tackle the growing demand for indecent images of children.

The campaign will also work with the Crime Commissioner for the region, Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards and the authorities.

It will bring together law enforcement work with that already being undertaken by The Lucy Faithfull Foundation.

Viewing and sharing the images is a serious and growing problem. In 2013, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) estimated that as many as 50,000 individuals in the U.K. were involved in downloading or sharing sexual images of children.

The Police believe that the number has grown since then. In 2018, the National Crime Agency estimates the figure to be around 80,000.

Detective Superintendent Jon Morgan, Head of West Yorkshire’s Police Safeguarding Central Governance Unit has said “Tackling child abuse of all forms is a top priority for West Yorkshire Police. Many don’t consider the viewing and sharing of indecent images of children in the same vein as contact offences but behind every image or video is a child who has been abused and continues to be abused with every download.”

“We treat this offending very seriously and every year arrest hundreds of people for possession and distribution of indecent images. The Force works closely with the Crown Prosecution Service to take cases to court and ensure offenders face justice, including being made to sign the Sex Offenders Register.”

The campaign is launched today and will use traditional media, social media, posters and other activities to raise awareness of the consequences, educate the public, highlight the increase of police activity, and talk about the consequences of offender’s behaviour.

The child protection charity works to stop people from viewing illegal content in the first place; and help them to stop if they have already started. It directs offenders to the Stop It Now! Helpline that has online resources, alongside their helpline where they can get support for their behaviour. 1365 people accessed these last year alone.

Director of the helpline, Donald Findlater says “Our specialist staff have helped thousands over recent years. We’ve also helped thousands more family members come to terms with the fact that someone they know and love has engaged in this behaviour, getting them help to tackle the problem.”

Anyone concerned about child protection issues can contact the confidential and anonymous Stop It Now! helpline on 0800 1000 900 or visit stopitnow.org.uk

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