Welcome to another week.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid has pledged £600,000 to fund a support helpline for child sexual abuse offenders.
The phone line will be run by The Lucy Faithfull Foundation, whose work has been funded from a £2.6 million government pot dedicated to prevention work.
The Home Office’s press release about the phone line explains that the charity provides confidential advice to offenders who want to address personal child exploitation behaviours. The charity says it has seen a 65% rise in callers and visitors to the Stop It Now! helpline and self-help website in relation to viewing sexual images of children online.
The latest figures which were published in September 2018 indicate a 700% increase in child abuse images being referred to the National Crime Agency (NCA) in the last 5 years. The data also estimates that up to 80,000 people in the UK currently present some kind of sexual threat to children online, with exploitative material increasingly featuring ever younger children.
The press release says that over 2,000 people contacted Stop It Now! last year through the helpline and its secure messaging service in 2018.
No data has been offered on whether the help line has managed to reduce offending behaviours or the commission of child sexual offences by those who called through to the charity’s help line to ask for support.