Estimated 90 cybercrimes recorded a day against children

We estimate more than 25,300 child abuse image and sexual grooming offences have been recorded by the police since the Online Harms White Paper was published just over 9 months ago

Teenage girl using a laptop

Based on latest police recorded crime data, it's estimated an average of 1 online abuse offence against a child was recorded every 16 minutes in England and Wales1.

The Online Harms Reduction Regulator Bill will be introduced into the House of Lords today, a Private Member's Bill that requires Ofcom to prepare for regulation as an interim online harms regulator.

This speeds up timescales for government to uphold their manifesto promise by introducing comprehensive legislation to protect children from abuse online. Until then, we estimate 90 online child abuse crimes a day could continue to be recorded.


Andy Burrows, NSPCC Head of Child Safety Online Policy, said:
"By our estimates, an average of 90 potential online abuse crimes against children come to light a day, so it is crystal clear regulation cannot come soon enough.

"The Prime Minister must confirm plans to press ahead with a comprehensive Duty of Care, and urgently introduce an Online Harms Bill that will deliver a well-resourced regulator with the powers to take on big tech.

"Anything less will let tech giants off the hook and have a devastating impact on children, their families and law enforcement who are left to fight increasingly complex online child abuse day in and day out."

We need a new law to protect children online

Through our Wild West Web campaign we're asking the Government to create a new law to make social networks safer for children. We want:

  • an independent regulator who can put in place mandatory child safety rules for social networks
  • safe accounts for children
  • detailed reporting on how social networks are keeping children safe.

Wild West Web petition hand in

Handing in Wild West Web petition at Downing StreetOn 1 July 2019 we handed in our #WildWestWeb petition to 10 Downing Street. 

NSPCC Chief Executive Peter Wanless and Associate Head of Child Safety Online Andy Burrows, were joined by Ruth Moss and Ian Russell whose children took their lives after viewing harmful content online.

Thank you to everyone who supported the campaign - almost 46,000 signed our petition calling for government to bring in a statutory regulator.

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References

  1. 1. NSPCC estimates are based on the latest police recorded crime figures available (1 April 2019 – 30 June 2019) for England and Wales for Obscene Publication offences and Sexual Grooming offences. The combined average of 89.8 offences a day was then multiplied by the 282 days between 8th April 2019 (the date the Online Harms White Paper was published) and Tuesday 14th January 2020 to get 25,324 recorded offences.

    Published figures do not reveal how many of the Obscene Publication offences involve images of children but results from the NSPCC’s previous Freedom of Information request suggest the vast majority are.

     

    For both offences, it is likely the majority of crimes involve the internet considering the role it can play in publishing and sharing images or the way it could be used by offenders to contact and build relationships with children.