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Young men in London least likely in the UK to think child sex abuse imagery is the biggest problem on the internet

image young people on phones

Region: London

You’d probably think that if you surveyed a group of 16 to 24-year-old young men on internet issues, they’d be more concerned with revenge pornography, or sexting. But according to a new survey, that’s not the case across the UK. However, young men in London are the least likely to say the biggest issue on the internet are images of child sexual abuse.

That’s according to a new survey published today (1 August, 2017), commissioned by the Internet Watch Foundation, for a joint campaign aimed at raising awareness of internet safety with soccer giants Everton Football Club.

The report, from the polling company ComRes, looked at the attitudes of young men across the UK, aged 16 to 24, to online safety. Data in the survey reveals differences in attitudes across regions and nations, including:

  • Young men in London are least likely to say they think images showing the sexual abuse of children online is one of the biggest issues on the internet, less than half (47%) state this, compared to more than three in five (61%) in the East of England, for example.
  • Young men in London are amongst the most likely to say they would delete their internet history if they accidentally found images and videos showing child sexual abuse online. Two in five young men in London (39%) say they would delete their internet history, whilst just three in ten (29%) in the East Midlands say they would do this.
  • Less than two in five (36%) young men in London say they would never tell their family if they stumbled across images or videos of child sexual abuse, whilst half (48%) of young men in Scotland say the same. Similarly, three in ten (29%) young men in London say they would never tell their friends if they stumbled across images or videos of child sexual abuse, compared to more than two in five (43%) young men in the East of England.
  • A quarter (26%) of young men in London say they think their friends would make fun of them if they told them they had accidentally stumbled across images or videos of child sexual abuse, just one in six (16%) in Wales say the same.
  • Those in London are the least likely to say they think that if you accidentally stumble upon images showing the sexual abuse of children online you have to explain how you found the content to whoever you report it to. Half (53%) of young men in London state this, whilst two in three (67%) say the same in the East of England.

The ComRes survey has been published to support the ‘See it, Report it’ campaign which kicked off at an Everton Football Club fixture. The campaign was designed to have two elements: firstly, raising awareness of the work of IWF’s anonymous reporting Hotline, which takes reports and removes criminal images and video of child sexual abuse from the internet. Secondly, and in a first for British football, to trial a ground-breaking online safety workshop ‘Game On’, across Everton Football Club’s youth teams and wider footballing community, including staff and participants at the Club’s award winning charity, Everton in the Community.

The central aim of the project was to tackle online issues of inappropriate sexualised behaviours, as well as educate young men to the dangers of being online, through a series of targeted educational workshops.

Susie Hargreaves OBE, IWF CEO, says: “It’s incredibly positive that nationally over 40% of young men say that they would report it, if they accidently stumbled on child sexual abuse imagery online. But we need to get that message out to more young people – and let them know that they can report these disturbing illegal images to our Hotline, anonymously.

“Working with Everton FC has been amazing; they’ve been pioneers in online safety education. The support Everton has across the globe, has the potential to influence tens of thousands of young men. And by running these workshops, our goal to educate these young players to keep themselves cyber-safe and in turn spread the positive online safeguarding message has been a real success.”

Adam Green, Head of Safeguarding, Everton Football Club, says: “This is a unique safeguarding initiative and we’re proud to be the first club to partner with the IWF. At Everton, we have a history of putting safeguarding first, both for our young players and in the wider Everton community. This project takes that message one step further – we want to help young men develop appropriate relationship behaviours, both online and offline. And, in a complex online world, we want to help keep our young players, staff and community participants safe.”

The ‘Game On’ project has been supported by an Advisory Board made up from leading charities and online safety experts. The work of the project has been fully evaluated by ComRes.

 

See the survey results broken down into UK's 12 regions below:

East Midlands

East of England

North East

North West

Northern Ireland

Scotland

South East

South West

Wales

West Midlands

Yorkshire & Humberside

 

ends

 

Contacts:

IWF Contact: Emma Hardy, IWF Director of External Relations +44 (0) 1223 203030 or +44 (0) 7929 553679.

Notes to editors:

  1. The IWF is part of the UK Safer Internet Centre, is formed from the charities: Childnet International, IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) and SWGfL (South West Grid for Learning).
  2. Written quotes from young players are available on request.
  3. ComRes are a leading market research consultancy based in London. www.comresglobal.com
  4. ComRes survey of young males aged 16-24, conducted for IWF between 22nd May and 2nd June 2017.
  5. For more information on Game On visit: www.iwf.org.uk/gameon

Methodology:

ComRes interviewed 2,085 UK males aged 16-24 online (including 238 in London) between 27th January and 9th February and between 22nd May and 2nd June 2017. Data was weighted to be demographically representative of this age group by region and age.

 

The UK Safer Internet Centre, includes IWF working with Childnet International and the South West Grid for Learning to promote the safe and responsible use of technology.

What we do:

We make the internet a safer place. We help victims of child sexual abuse worldwide by identifying and removing online images and videos of their abuse. We search for child sexual abuse images and videos and offer a place for the public to report them anonymously. We then have them removed. We’re a not for profit organisation and are supported by the global internet industry and the European Commission.

For more information please visit www.iwf.org.uk.

 

 

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