The coronavirus crisis, lockdowns, home working and remote learning has resulted in many of us spending more time online than ever before. It should not be a surprise to anyone that as people have had more time on their hands, less social contact and more time looking at a screen there has been an increase in all sorts of inappropriate, undesirable and illegal behavious.
The IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) reports that the volume of child abuse imagery circulating online soared to record levels over 2020.
With schools once again closed to the majority of children and young people, the IWF warns that "communities of sex predators” will be looking to take advantage of the situation to exploit more children and to share and distribute child sexual abuse material online. Read the full report
Prehaps no less distrubing is that IWF also notes that the level of self generated CSA imagery - pictures taken by children and young people themselves and shared with or without their knowledge, has increased by 77%.
It is therefore, timely that the UKCIS (UK Council for Internet Safety) and DCSM (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) have published new guidance for schools on responding to incidents of children and young people generating, sharing and possessing nudes and semi nude images.