During global COVID-19 lockdowns police reported a huge increase in the number of people viewing and sharing child sexual abuse images online
As internet use has skyrocketed due to COVID, so has the sharing of child abuse images. With tech companies abdicating responsibility and police struggling with the volume of abuse, there is no end in sight for this second pandemic.
During COVID lockdowns police around the world have reported a massive rise in people viewing child sexual abuse images online. Analyst Paul says the proliferation of mobile phones amongst children has made it easier for abusers to find victims: 'We have seen quite a large increase in self-generated content. Children of a lot younger age being able to put themselves on the internet far younger and share those images'. Abusers have also become increasingly tech savvy, and have formed communities in places like the dark web. Survivor of sexual abuse Rhiannon says: 'These perpetrators are adults, they're grown-ups who are skilled manipulators, who can get people to do things without them even realizing that that's what they're doing'. Chief Constable Simon Bailey is critical of tech companies that have failed to police the presence of predators on their websites: 'Companies need to understand they have a social and a moral responsibility to protect children and to prevent the abuse of children. And the bottom line is that they are not doing enough'.FULL SYNOPSIS