According to the NCA, the majority of individuals found guilty of possessing child abuse images in the UK manage to avoid imprisonment.

The National Crime Agency is urging for stricter sentencing and the creation of a new offense for operating abuse websites.

Graeme Biggar, the director general of the NCA, revealed that 80% of individuals in the UK caught with child sexual abuse images avoid imprisonment, even when caught with thousands of images. Some offenders receive rehabilitation orders and suspended sentences, only to reoffend.

In a media briefing, the NCA called for harsher prison sentences.

Biggar expressed his disappointment with the current sentencing, stating that it is “striking” that so many individuals convicted of possessing indecent images of children are not given immediate custodial sentences. He emphasized the need to take these offenders off the streets to prevent further harm.

Rob Jones, the NCA’s director of operations, highlighted the connection between the online world and the real world, emphasizing that children are victimized when their images are viewed and that the demand for fresh images leads to more victims.

The NCA estimates that approximately 830,000 adults in the UK, or 1.6% of the population, pose a threat to children.

Keren was sentenced to a suspended sentence of 20 months in prison for being caught with 1,694 indecent images of children, some of which were classified as the most extreme category. The NCA is currently in discussions with the Home Office about implementing tougher measures.

Biggar stated that the NCA has requested a new offense that criminalizes running a child sexual abuse website. While sharing images is already considered a criminal act, administering such a site is not currently illegal.

Jones emphasized that individuals running abuse websites are advocates for contact abuse of children and often operate for profit.

According to Biggar, individuals who run child sexual abuse websites do go to jail, but the sentences are not lengthy enough.

Jones warned that Meta platforms have become more dangerous for children, urging parents to be vigilant. He mentioned that recent changes have made it harder for the NCA to detect and address various forms of abuse and grooming.

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