The internet has enabled the production and consumption of child sexual abuse material on an industrial scale. It has also created new opportunities for adults to sexually abuse and exploit children. The volume of online child sexual abuse offences is now so great that it has simply overwhelmed the ability of law enforcement agencies, internationally, to respond. However, there is nothing pre-determined about this situation. Public policy can make a difference.
This report looks at what can be done to help “turn the tide” on online Child Sexual Abuse (CSA). It does this by first describing the scale and nature of online CSA, second, assessing the ability of the police and law enforcement to investigate these crimes, third, by examining the service provided to victims of online CSA and, finally by looking at what more can be done to prevent online CSA in the first place. This includes a focus on prevention, better targeting of the most serious forms of harm and investing in better police resources.