New think tank report aimed at ‘turning tide of online child sexual abuse’ draws on IWF data

28 Jul 2022 Angela Munoz Aroca

The Police Foundation has published a new report, focusing on what can be done to “turn the tide” on online child sexual abuse, specifically by police and government. 

The research draws on Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) data to show that more needs to be done to support victims of online child sexual abuse and highlights the “industrial scale” of criminal material online.

In 2021, IWF analysts identified 252,194 URLs containing child sexual abuse material, an increase of 707% since 2014 (31,266). The majority of the content contained images of children aged 13 and under.

Susie Hargreaves OBE, Chief Executive of the Internet Watch Foundation, said: “Shockingly, children are being groomed and abused even as parents think they are safe at home. The truth is any device with a camera that can access the internet is like an open window through which a predator can climb.  

“The pandemic saw a truly disturbing 374% increase in the levels of self-generated material we saw. This is where children have been groomed or coerced into abusing themselves on camera, often in their own homes, by internet predators.”

For more information on what parents and carers can do to keep their children safer online, visit

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