Sharp increase in online child abuse images during COVID-19 lockdown
The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has reported almost 50% increase in online child abuse images 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 increased time online due to the lockdown.
Susie Hargreaves, Chief executive of the 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.