More Seeking Help For Viewing Child Porn

2 November 2018, 06:32 | Updated: 2 November 2018, 06:34

CSE play

More people in Lancashire and Cumbria are seeking help for looking at child pornography online.

In both counties, the number of people accessing services to stop has more than doubled in the last six months.

It follow an awareness campaign about support from groups like the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Barr, North West Regional Lead for Serious and Organised Crime, said: “The problem of viewing indecent images of children online has grown exponentially in recent years. Technological advancements, increased accessibility, and the presumption of anonymity have all led to more and more people viewing and sharing illegal images.

“Every time a sexual image of a child is viewed, that child is re-victimised and further demand is created. It is vital, therefore, that we work closely with partners and use all available resources to protect children and, wherever possible, prevent offending.

“We have a duty to protect children from harm and to deter individuals from committing these types of horrific offences and we continue to seek to identify and convict those who engage in this behaviour. But as the results of this campaign show, we can also educate and stop individuals from continuing to offend – or from offending in the first place.

“Enforcement activity remains a high priority for police locally, regionally and nationally. And being arrested comes with life-changing consequences for offenders and their families. To those engaged in this behaviour, I would say consider your actions now and seek help to stop. If not, you should expect to face serious consequences.”

Lancashire Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable Jo Edwards said: “As a police service we have a duty to protect children from harm and deter individuals from committing these types of horrific offences.

“As such, we remain committed to identifying and convicting those individuals who wish to share indecent images and engage with children online for sexual gratification.

“However, we also recognise the need to educate and stop individuals from continuing to offend, or prevent individuals from offending in the first place.

“Our partnership with the Lucy Faithful Foundation and this wider regional partnership plays a key role in this and we are delighted to see that early indications show this work is paying dividends with an increase in people seeking out information and support. This means that potentially we have been able to safeguard more children at risk of exploitation or prevented someone from offending.

“We will continue to support the work of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation and I would encourage anyone who is worried about their online viewing habits, or that of family members or friends, to take a look at the online resources available from the Foundation and seek help.”

Reflecting on the success of police co-operation with Stop it Now! in the North West so far, Director of the Stop it Now! Helpline, Donald Findlater, said: “We are delighted with the success of the campaign so far, with nearly 600 people from the North-West seeking help with online sexual behaviour towards children every month. Mostly these will be men seeking help to manage their own behaviour in viewing sexual images of children. But a growing number of other adults – wives, partners and parents – are getting in contact because of concerns about the online sexual behaviour of someone they love.

“But there are thousands more people in the North-West continuing to view sexual images of children online. Just as there are thousands more wives, partners and parents who are, or who should be worried about the online behaviour of someone they love.

“Some of these those engaged in this behaviour will be reading these words now. All of them need to be clear that sexual images of children are illegal, that children are harmed when they are made, and also each time they are viewed. Those who come to the attention of the police for such online offending put at risk everything they take for granted or have worked hard to achieve – family, friends, work, their liberty. The Stop it Now! Helpline offers them a confidential place to get help so their illegal online behaviour stops and stays stopped. Getting help takes just a phone call.”