The shocking extent of the threat to children from online sex offenders is revealed today by the Home Secretary.
Thousands of youngsters are in danger of being groomed, exploited and blackmailed by sexual predators on the internet, warns Sajid Javid.
He says at least 80,000 paedophiles are using websites including social media. In a flagship speech today, he will call on technology giants to do more to remove vile photos and videos.
An alarming indication of the scale of the menace to children:
The National Crime Agency said the number of tips about online child abuse had risen 700 per cent from 10,384 in 2012 to 82,109 last year
Cases involving perverts watching sickening images of very young children and babies being abused have soared;
The NCA revealed yesterday that 131 suspects – including a former police officer, five teachers and a children’s entertainer – were arrested in one probe
New technology to remove indecent images has led to more than 800,000 takedown notices being issued
Police recorded an average of 23 child sexual offences involving the internet every day in 2017-18 – up from 15 a day the year before
400 predators are arrested a month, helping to safeguard 500 children.
Mr Javid’s speech will outline a major change in the official response to an evolving threat, including extra money for investigators.
He will tell an audience of technology bosses, charities and law enforcement chiefs in east London that he is on a personal mission to tackle child sex abuse.
US internet companies – thought to include Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Google, which owns YouTube – are not doing enough to crack down on internet paedophiles, he will say.
According to the NCA there are at least 80,000 people in the UK who ‘present some kind of sexual threat’ to children online.
This includes 66,000 paedophiles on the sex offenders register at November 2017 and 14,000 who have been arrested, are under investigation or have been convicted of child sex crimes since then. Operational experts believe this is a conservative estimate.