Online child abuse predicted to rise during Covid-19 lockdown

April 7, 2020

The NCA predicts that online child abuse could escalate as offenders discuss options online

Online child abuse will rise during Covid-19 pandemic

The National Crime Agency (NCA) reports that online child abusers are actively discussing methods to capitalise on the ‘opportunity’ presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.  Lockdown measures have created what has been described as a ‘perfect storm’ for an increase in child sex offences, as both children and paedophiles are spending more time online.

The NCA recently released figures that there is a minimum of 300,000 individuals in the UK that pose a threat to children.  This figure includes the potential for online child abuse.  It stated that indecent material can be accessed within three clicks.

In a typical month, the NCA and the UK police force arrest more than 500 child abusers.  It also reported that 94,342 UK residents had contacted the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, a charity dedicated to stopping online child abuse.  This figure represents a 119% increase from the number of reports made in 2018.

“ Child sexual abuse remains a priority threat for the agency at this difficult time…Preventing offences occurring is always crucial and now more so than ever when there is masses of online traffic and a possible elevated threat to children.  We are redoubling our efforts to promote our online safety messages to children, parents, carers and teachers and are working with partners to keep children safe. ” Rob Jones, Director of Threat Leadership, NCA

In an effort to educate parents and the wider community, and in coordination with the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the NCA recently launched an #OnlineSafetyAtHome campaign.

The information and activities are being delivered through its Think-U-Know website and also via the Parent Info portal.  Both websites feature tips, advice and strategies for parents on how to safeguarding children at home when using the internet.

More information on both websites can be accessed here: