Figures of child sex offences against children online within the Northumbria Police Force area released by the NSPCC show there were 323 incidents reported between 2016 and 2017, between 2015 and 2016 were 98. There has been a shocking 229.5% increase.
Lisa Orchard, Northumbria Police Detective Superintendent said:
“We take any report of crime involving children very seriously and safeguarding any vulnerable child is paramount and we encourage anyone with any concerns to report them to the police.
“We have a specialist safeguarding department and a cyber-crime unit within Northumbria Police which are dedicated to protecting those who may be vulnerable to these sorts of crimes and preventing offenders being able to target them online.
“The Internet has opened up new opportunities for abusers online and we are working closely with our partners to improve online safety education and raise awareness of how to stay safe online.
“We have improved our response to sexual abuse online and we are safeguarding children at risk and proactively targeting offenders and bringing them to justice. We will continue to work closely with our partners but we ask everyone to help us by being alert to signs of sexual activity online and sharing any concerns however small they may seem.”
If you are concerned about a child which may be at risk report it to the police or CEOP (Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre).