Herts Police back campaign to tackle online child sexual abuse

PUBLISHED: 16:32 08 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:32 08 May 2017

Archant

Herts Police is one of six forces across Eastern England to launch Operation NetSafe today in a bid to tackle online viewing of child sexual abuse images.

The operation is being conducted in partnership with child protection charity, The Lucy Faithfull Foundation, which helps prevent child sexual abuse through work with victims, families and sex offenders themselves.

The scheme will include a public awareness campaign using traditional media, social media, posters and other public relations activities to communicate deterrence messages to offenders and potential offenders.

Detective Superintendent Paul Maghie, head of safeguarding, said: “Hertfordshire Constabulary have invested in and bolstered the number of specialist resources we use to thoroughly investigate these types of crimes.

“We have previously worked very closely with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation and other partners to protect children from sexual abuse, and we will be continuing to offer our support with the launch of this campaign.

“I want to reiterate that if you are involved in such offending, we will catch you.

“The internet may facilitate this type of crime but the increased technological advances enable us to bring offenders to justice. I would encourage any people that have such urges to refer themselves for help through the Foundation before we come knocking on your door.”

Donald Findlater, safeguarding consultant at The Lucy Faithfull Foundation, added: “Too many men seem to think that it is alright to view sexual images of under-18s online.

“They may do this as part of an adult pornography habit; or they may have an established sexual interest in children that needs addressing urgently.

“But whatever the reason, they need to stop and stay stopped.”

In just one year, more than 1,800 people from across Eastern England have sought help to stop looking at sexual images of children.

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