childonlineChild sexual abuse images are of more concern to internet users in Britain than any other illegal or potentially harmful content with an Internet Watch Foundation suggesting that most people are unaware how to report such content.

The IWF survey of over 2,000 people found 83% of those polled were worried about the websites, 73% by terrorist material and 68% by violent pornography.

Hate or suicide material and those encouraging eating disorders were also cited in the poll of 2,058 people.

The organisation, set up by the government, police and internet service providers in 1996 as a UK hotline to report criminal content online, spoke to 991 males and 1,067 females.

IWF chief executive Susie Hargreaves said: "There is clear public concern over the availability of images and videos of children being sexually abused on the internet.

"What is concerning for us is that not enough people know how to report this or would rather ignore it. We need to prevent people from stumbling upon this content and assist other countries in creating a hostile environment for hosting it."

The survey conducted for the IWF by ComRes found that four per cent of men and two per cent of women said they have stumbled across images of child sexual abuse while browsing online.

Some 91% agreed that websites featuring such images should be removed from the internet. But 40% said that while they would probably consider reporting their concerns, they did not know how to do this.

A total of 28% of the survey participants said they would report the sites to police and seven per cent to their internet service provider. But 16% of males and nine per cent of women said they would take no action.

According to the IWF's annual report, 73 UK webpages hosting child sexual abuse images or videos were logged in 2012, compared with 9,477 hosted in other countries around the world.

More than half of the pages were removed within 60 minutes of the IWF notifying the host company or internet service provider.

At JFHC Live 2013 last week [12 March] Department of Health specialist practioner Barbara Richardson-Todd spoke about child abuse through the internet. During her talk she offered up practical advice for parents, carers and health professionals to help spot the danger and safeguard children - to hear the full seminar click here.

The rise in child abuse images online will be one of the topics covered at the NSPCC 'How Safe Are Our Children' conference on 18-19 April, where speakers will include Children's and Families Minister Edward Timpson and the Children's Commissioners for England & Scotland. For more details and to book your place - click here.

Posted 18/03/2013 by richard.hook@pavpub.com