CEOP has identified a series of new internet-related threats to children, according to a statement released this week by the organisation.
The new dangers, highlighted during its annual Threat Assessment of Child Sexual Exploitation, include the use of the ‘hidden internet’, as well as the live streaming of abuse.
Another key finding shows that approximately one in eight UK children will suffer contact sexual abuse by a non-related adult before turning 18.
CEOP Chief Executive Peter Davies said: "It’s part of CEOP’s job to inform the public and our partners about how our understanding of the risk to children from sexual exploitation and abuse is developing. Every year we refresh our assessment and build our operational plans around it."
Too many children still at risk
“Our assessment shows that, sadly, there are still too many children at risk and too many people who would cause them serious harm. We should all practice zero tolerance to child sexual exploitation and abuse. While the assessment may not make comfortable reading, that isn’t its purpose. It’s an objective assessment of the issues as we see them but as a result it is also, undoubtedly, a call to action,” he added.
Alongside the new dangers to young people, the findings also identify different types of sexual offender. These include those who target young people according to vulnerability, those who have a longstanding sexual interest in children, and those that embed themselves in foreign countries for the purpose of child sexual abuse. The findings also warn that the threat to children may be exacerbated by the growing availability of the internet in the developing world.