ROTHERHAM MP Sarah Champion challenged the Government over its record of tackling the increasing problem of online child abuse.
The shadow minister for preventing abuse told Monday’s (5) Commons debate on cybercrime the problem had reached an unprecedented level and was still rising.
Ms Champion said: “The Internet Watch Foundation states that there has been a 417 per cent increase in reports of child sexual abuse images and video since 2013, with CEOP [the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre] stating 50,000 people in the UK downloaded or shared child abuse images in 2012.
“However, children and parents are woefully underprepared to recognise or prevent abuse and exploitation online, despite the fact that 65 per cent of 12- to 15-year-olds own a smart-phone.”
The MP asked security minister Ben Wallace about the plan to address and prevent online abuse.
He said: “The obvious answer is that we need to continue to educate both parents and children, either in the school setting or at home, to make sure that they operate safely when they surf the net.
“The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Home Office and the National Crime Agency have engaged in making sure that there are guides online for everyone of every age to follow. That is the first step.
“Certainly, the National Cyber Crime Unit, which I went to visit at the NCA, is responsible for making sure that we catch people whether at home or abroad, through its network of overseas postings, to make sure that we bring people to justice whatever side of the channel they are on.”