Statement on access to criminal images

31 May 2013

Following the tragic cases of April Jones and Tia Sharp there is much discussion on how to prevent access to online child sexual abuse images.

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) works with the public, law enforcement and online industry to remove child sexual abuse content.

IWF spokeswoman Emma Lowther said: "The UK internet industry is extremely quick and nimble at tackling what is possibly the most horrendous images and videos available on the internet but there is always more to be done.

"To use the IWF and the online industry effectively, we need everyone to do the right thing and report to

“Our research revealed 1.5 million adults have stumbled across child sexual abuse content on the internet - but last year we received just under 40,000 reports.

"Removing the images is by far the best way to prevent people from seeing them. It also prevents the victimisation of the abused children.”

The IWF work closely with over 100 companies worldwide in the online industry in to remove and disrupt access to criminal images and videos.

The IWF and our Member organisations are committed to the shared vision of an internet free of child sexual abuse content.

– Ends –

Notes to editors:

The IWF is a charity and a UK self-regulatory body. Visit for more details.


Emma Lowther, IWF Director of External Relations, on +44 (0) 1223 203030 or +44 (0)7929 553 679.

@IWF_Emma Opens in New Window 

About the Internet Watch Foundation

The IWF was established in 1996 by the internet industry to report criminal online content in a secure and confidential way. The Hotline service can be used anonymously to report:

o   child sexual abuse content hosted anywhere in the world; 

o   criminally obscene adult content hosted in the UK;

o   non-photographic child sexual abuse images hosted in the UK.

For more information please visit


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