THERE has been an increase in Oxfordshire in the number of people viewing sexual images of children online.

According to The Lucy Faithfull Foundation’s Stop It Now! campaign, there has been a 21 per cent increase in the number of people asking for help on an anonymous helpline, up from 343 in 2016 to 416 in 2018.

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The campaign offers confidential support to online offenders who want to change their illegal behaviour, as well as to their families and friends, and professionals working with these groups.

In 2018, combined callers and visitors from those groups in the South increased by 55 per cent compared to 2016.


The Home Secretary has announced £600,000 funding for The Lucy Faithfull Foundation’s child sexual abuse prevention helpline.

The Stop It Now! deterrence campaign was launched in October 2015 to discourage people from viewing illegal sexual images of children online, and to offer help to those wanting to change their behaviour.

It also supports the families and friends of offenders, and professionals.

More than 2,000 people contacted Stop It Now! last year through the 0808 1000 900 helpline and its secure messaging service last year to change their behaviour.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Child sexual abuse is a truly sickening crime and I’m committed to doing everything in my power to eradicate it from society.

"It’s vital we take action on a number of fronts.

"That’s why we have given police and prosecutors the tools they need to bring offenders to justice, are educating young people on how they can protect themselves and will be legislating to ensure tech giants are fulfilling their responsibilities to protect our children.”

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Donald Findlater, director of the Stop It Now! helpline, said: "People viewing sexual images of children online need to know this is not a victimless crime - children are harmed when these images are first made, and afterwards when they are viewed or shared again.

"There are serious consequences for anyone arrested for such behaviour, possibly including imprisonment, losing their job, friendships and relationships, losing contact with their own children as well as ending up on the sex offenders register."