Sharp increase in child abuse images online during COVID-19 lockdown

Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) that works to remove child abuse material, has reported almost 50% increase in child abuse images online during lockdown. Between  23 March to the first week of May the IWF helpline logged 44,809 reports of such images, compared with 29,698 last year. A major cause for this significant increase in circulation of such images has been due to significant time being spent online due to the lockdown.

Susie Hargreaves, Chief executive IWF shared that the images generated by children after grooming or coercion such as pre-teen girls being tricked to perform sex acts on webcams, are one of the growing categories of images being removed by IWF.