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September 7, 2023

Thousands of children sexually abused to order on encrypted video calls with western customers

  • According to a new report by the University of Nottingham and the International Justice Mission (IJM), the UK is the third largest consumer of live-streamed child sexual abuse.  
  • The researchers ran a national household survey covering 150 municipalities, asking local residents if they were aware of child victims or of adults selling such content.  
  • The new report indicates that Western consumers are also guilty of directing child sexual abuse in the Philippines. 
  • The IJM also found that over half the children abused were 12 years or younger, with the youngest being only a few months old.  
  • The executive director of IJM’s Center to End Online Sexual Exploitation of Children John Tanagho, has said it is “clear that digital spaces and internet-connected, camera-enabled devices pose growing opportunities for offenders to sexually abuse children with ease, anonymity, and impunity”.  
  • The UK’s online safety bill, which is set to become law later this month, should have a big impact on such crime.  
  • For more, please visit the Telegraph’s website.  

More than one in 10 women and girls across UK have faced online violence

  • A new UK-wide online YouGov survey of 7,500 people aged 16 and over has found that more than one in 10 women and girls in each of the UK’s four nations has experienced online violence. 
  • 17% of women and girls surveyed in both Scotland and Wales, 15% in England and 12% in Northern Ireland have reported experiencing online violence.  
  • Online violence can include abuse, threats, trolling, unwanted sexual remarks and non-consensual sharing of intimate images and messages.  
  • The most commonly perceived reasons for why people commit such online violence were perceived anonymity by being online (49%), ease of getting away with it (47%) and misogyny (43%). 
  • Researchers said that their findings suggested men and boys (50%) in England were less likely than women and girls (69%) to support making online violence against women and girls a criminal offence.  
  • Professor Lynne Gabirel, president of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy has said that the research will “provide valuable evidence for many, including counselling and mental health professionals, policy makers, educators, researchers and social media platforms.” 
  • For more, please visit the Independent’s website. 

The following stories may be regionalised:

Pupils are reportedly leaving lessons to use vapes in toilets

  • Public Health Wales (PHW) has said that children who are addicted to vaping cannot get through lessons without them. 
  • The NHS trust has said that some pupils use them when they wake during the night.  
  • Some schools have had to make toilets off limits. 
  • PHW’s health improvement director, Dr Julie Bishop has state that having to make toilets off limits “has other consequences for children and young people’s wellbeing”. 
  • In a survey, it found that 9-10% of seven and year 10 pupils vaped daily.  
  • Research by other organisations which focused on weekly use found that there has been an increase to around 8% among 11–18-year-olds.  
  • An incident response group (IRG) has been set up by PHW to investigate the scale of the problem and what could be done. 
  • This could include the implementation of new legislation.  
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.  

Edinburgh crime news: 10 criminals jailed in Edinburgh in August including county lines gang members

  • Many criminals have appeared in Edinburgh courts over the last month, with jail sentences being handed to drug gangs, violent sex offenders and paedophiles. 
  • Two members of a county lines drug trafficking gang who targeted vulnerable people were jailed for a total of 11 years and three months. 
  • It was recently reported by ITVX News, that children as young as seven were being exploited by county lines drugs gangs. 
  • County lines is when a child or vulnerable person are exploited or coerced by organised crime groups in to transporting, selling or storing illegal drugs or money. 
  • Nequela Whittaker at aged 13, was selling drugs and carrying knives as part of a county lines gang. She saw friends being murdered, stabbings and robberies. 
  • At 17 she was sentenced to four years in prison. 
  • Since the government launched its County Lines Programme in 2019, police have shut down 3,588 drug lines. 
  • Drugs charities and campaigners have warned that until the source of crime and addition are tackled, county lines gangs will continue to recruit vulnerable children who are growing up in poverty and deprivation. 
  • For more, please visit the Edinburgh News website, and the ITVX News website.