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Charity wants urgent action against abuse
A CHARITY is demanding urgent action after Dorset Police made 49 arrests for child abuse pictures in one year.
The NSPCC called for new initiatives from the Government and IT industry to stamp out the vile trade in online images.
It comes after a freedom of information request by the charity found that 49 arrests were made by Dorset Police in 2011 to 2012.
NSPCC regional head of service for the South West Sharon Copsey said: “The number of these dreadful images is absolutely appalling.
“The truly awful thing is that more and more children are being abused so these pictures can be produced and once in circulation they may stay there for many years.
“If we can halt this vile trade we will be saving countless children from suffering sexual assaults which have a huge impact on their lives.”
She added: “The authorities are working hard to clamp down on this but there are still far too many pictures available. “It’s time the government and industry got together to find an answer to this corrosive problem which cannot be allowed to continue.
“There are obviously paedophile rings which make a sordid business of sharing these images.
“But there are now so many in circulation that people from all walks of life are getting caught with them.
“They have to understand these are not just images.
“They are crime scenes.”
In response to the Freedom of Information (FoI) request, Dorset Police also said it would take too long to go through files to see how many pictures of children being sexually abused they had accumulated during investigations.
In 1990 – before the internet became hugely popular – the Home Office estimated there were 7,000 hard copy images in circulation in the UK.
The NSPCC said that now at least five times that amount are being confiscated every day.
The FoI reveals 49 people were arrested last year by Dorset Police for taking, possessing or distributing indecent images of children.
Since 1995 the number of people convicted in England and Wales has risen more than 1,700 per cent from 85 to 1,495 last year.
Pictures are graded from level one – the lowest – to category five.