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Massive increase in child sex abuse material uncovered by Irish internet hotline

There were 335 confirmed cases of child pornography reported last year.

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Image: child image via Shutterstock

AN IRISH INTERNET HOTLINE has revealed there was a huge increase last year in the amount of child sexual abuse material it uncovered.

Hotline.ie‘s annual report, launched today, shows it dealt with the greatest number of reports in one year since its establishment, marking a massive jump of 97% above average of the previous seven years.

Source: Hotline.ie

The service provides an anonymous facility for internet users to report suspected illegal content and particularly child sexual abuse material.

Of the 4,863 reports received and processed in 2014, 335 cases were confirmed by Hotline analysts as child pornography, which marks an increase of 148% over 2013.

Only nine of these cases were traced to Ireland, 222 were traced and forwarded to the The International Network of Internet Hotlines (INHOPE) in the appropriate jurisdictions for action and 21 were traced to countries outside the INHOPE network and dealt with via law enforcement channels.

Source: Hotline.ie

Other forms of illegal content identified by Hotline.ie in 2014 were 20 cases of financial nature, 1 case of child grooming activities and 2 cases promotion violence against individual.

The annual report said collective efforts are forcing paedophiles to find new ways to avoid detection.

Addressing the launch of the report earlier, Minster for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald said the hotline contributes to the “empowerment of citizens” by giving them a means to report illegal material and have it dealt with appropriately in cooperation with the gardaí.

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