This is an NSPCC analysis of 284 cases reported in local and national news of people convicted or cautioned for possessing, making or distributing indecent images of children and/or child sexual abuse from April to September 2010.
See Child sexual abuse images convictions (NSPCC press release, 27 July 2011).
We analysed court cases concerning child abuse image offences reported in local and national media over a six month period from April to September 2010.
We used internet search engine Google News and media articles database Lexis Nexis to find news reports of UK court cases involving a conviction for making, possessing or distributing indecent images of children.
Not all court cases are reported in the media so this analysis is not a full picture of all court cases relating to indecent images during that period.
In total, we found 284 court cases reported in the media which resulted in a conviction for child abuse images offences.
In a third of cases (98), the offender had also been found guilty of grooming children or had committed sexual assaults on children either previously, or during the same court case.
Offenders ranged in age from 18 to 76 years old. The age of the offender was not given in 6 news reports.
280 offenders were male; 4 offenders were female.
The total number of child abuse pictures and films, where reported, in all 286 court cases was nearly 3 million (2,992,014).
This included more than 35,000 images reported to be levels 4 and 5, the most serious categories set out by the Sentencing Guidelines Council:
Level 4 - Penetrative sexual activity involving a child or children, or both children and adults.
Level 5 - Sadism or penetration of or by an animal.
Please note: We do not know whether any of the offenders in the analysis shared the same pictures because the news reports did not give any detail about individual pictures and videos.
See: Crown Prosecution Service (2010) Indecent photographs of children . London: CPS.
The latest data from the Ministry of Justice shows there were a total of 1,246 convictions for taking, making and/or possessing indecent images of children in 2009 in England and Wales.
From: Data from Ministry of Justice obtained through a freedom of information request.