The NSPCC reports a sharp increase in child abuse image offenses in the South East

kid using a computer

According to the NSPCC, child abuse image offenses have sharply increased in the South East over the last five years.

According to data from the charity, the police forces in Kent, Sussex, and Surrey reported 2,653 crimes in 2017 compared to 1,311 in 2016–17.

Among the forces in the area, Kent Police saw the largest increase, from 381 offenses in 2010 to 1,356 in 2011.

The Online Safety Bill, according to a government spokesman, will compel social media companies to safeguard children online.

More than 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 NSPCC, which revealed that child abuse image offenses in the UK increased by 66 percent over the course of the previous five years.

According to the charity's statistics, more offenses have been reported in the South East's police forces than they did five years ago.

The NSPCC claimed that unrestrained social media was contributing to an increase in online child sex abuse and that social media companies "failed to stop" the use of their platforms for planning, carrying out, and sharing abuse.

According to Sir Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC, "These new figures are extremely alarming but only represent the very beginning of what children are experiencing online.

"We receive reports from young people who feel helpless and betrayed as online child sex abuse runs the risk of becoming commonplace for a generation of kids. ".

A woman from Kent who wished to remain anonymous told BBC South East Today that after her ex-boyfriend posted her nude pictures online when she was just 14 years old, she was left "shocked, confused, and angry.".

"It took over my entire life. I worried about who would message me next every waking moment, she said.

Police were called to her school, and she claimed that although arrests were made, no charges were filed. She now wants stricter laws to be implemented and for victims to understand "they're not alone.".

The Online Safety Bill will require social media companies, including virtual reality platforms, to protect children from exploitation, according to a Home Office spokesperson.

Companies that do nothing risk receiving hefty fines and having senior managers suffer serious repercussions, he continued.

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