Metropolitan police in London are experiencing a surge in the number of cases related to online sexual abuse and exploitation of children with some policemen handling up to 100 cases. Social media platforms have been found to be used to distribute, share,, and view indecent images on a global scale.
Limited capacity in specialist teams, backlogs, and resourcing pressures are being cited as reasons why the force are ‘overwhelmed’ by cases resulting in delay to provide redressal to the victims.
The HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has suggested that the current measures taken by the Metropolitan police seems inadequate, based on a review of 34 online cases, where 29 were assessed as either inadequate or requiring improvement and 15 sent back to the force because they contained evidence of a serious problem.
Children’s use of the Internet and mobile technology is increasing, and for many children worldwide there is no clear distinction between the online and offline world. Access to the Internet presents many opportunities for their education, personal development, self-expression, and interaction with others.