Three-fold increase of abuse imagery of 7-10-year-olds as IWF detects more child sexual abuse material online than ever before

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is the UK body established by industry to combat child abuse images online. It has just published its annual report and the headline messages are:

  • Record amount of child sexual abuse material taken down after action by IWF.
  • More reports investigated in 2021 than in the whole first 15 years of IWF’s existence.
  • Three-fold increase in imagery showing 7–10-year-olds who have been targeted and groomed by internet predators.
  • UK Government launching new campaign to help parents and carers spot the signs of online abuse and grooming.
  • Warning that devices can be an “open door” for sex predators to access children alone in their bedrooms.

From 2000-2005, I served as the first independent Chair of the IWF and I know what excellent work is carried out by the dedicated team there.


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