Posted: Fri 2nd Nov 2018

People in North Wales seeking help to stop looking at sexual images of children rises 65% in just six months

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Nov 2nd, 2018


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The number of people in North Wales seeking help to stop looking at sexual images of children online has increased by 65% in just six months.

Between July 2017 and January 2018 – 84 people from North Wales contacted Stop it Now! A child sexual abuse prevention project run by The Lucy Faithfull Foundation

In the following six month period that figure had leapt to 139, a rise of 65%.

The rise in the number of people seeking help from Stop it Now! follows a major public awareness raising campaign launched by Stop it Now! in January this year.

The campaign was supported by the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (NW ROCU) and police forces in North Wales, Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, and Cumbria.

There were particularly steep increases in Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria which saw increases of 146%, 193% and 186% respectively in the number of people seeking help from Stop it Now! over the six month period.

Across the six forces, the figure leapt from 1,747 to 3,549 in the six month period, an increase of 103%.

Det Insp Elfyn Hughes of the North Wales Police Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) said:

“Since February 2015, when POLIT commenced, officers in North Wales have been working extensively to detect and prosecute people downloading and sharing sexual images of children online.

“Protecting vulnerable children is a key priority for us and resources are being invested into tackling this serious issue.”

“This problem isn’t going to go away and we need to concentrate on raising awareness, education and reducing harm. It is pleasing to see that so many people have had the confidence to seek help and to manage their own behaviour in viewing sexual images of children online.”

“This joint campaign was another important step in the right direction in raising public awareness, educating those offending and driving home the consequences of their behaviour, as well as making people aware of the help that’s available.”

“Paedophiles are becoming increasingly sophisticated so it is vitally important that we respond accordingly with a team of our own experts catching those committing these types of crime and bringing them to justice.”

The campaign used traditional media, social media, posters and other public relations activities to:

  • raise public awareness of the growing problem of people viewing and sharing sexually explicit images of under 18s online
  • educate those offending about the harm caused to children in the images who are re-victimised each time their image is viewed online highlight the increase in police activity across the North West to tackle the issue
  • drive home the consequences of their behaviour to offenders – including arrest, possible imprisonment, break up of family and being put on the Sex Offenders Register
  • make people aware that there is help available to stop such behaviour via the Stop it Now! Helpline and the Stop it Now! Get Help website.

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