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Greater Manchester Police to take part in Week of Action to prevent online child sexual abuse

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are continuing their work to tackle the making, viewing and distribution of child sexual abuse images by taking part in a dedicated week of action beginning today, Monday 25 March 2024.

Working alongside local partners, police forces across the North West and the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, GMP will be taking a proactive and preventive approach to online child sexual abuse which will see offenders being arrested and children safeguarded throughout the week.

The week of action is to raise public awareness of the growing problem of people viewing and sharing sexually explicit images of under 18s online. It also aims to educate those offending about the harm caused to children in the images who are re-victimised each time their image is viewed online.

The Lucy Faithfull Foundation is the only UK-wide child protection charity dedicated solely to preventing child sexual abuse.

They work with entire families that have been affected by sexual abuse including: young people with inappropriate sexual behaviours, adult male and female sexual abusers, and other family members.

18,210 people contacted their Stop it Now helpline or online self-help resources with concerns about their own or someone else’s sexual thoughts or behaviour towards children, with 7,706 of that number coming from the Greater Manchester area.

Detective Constable Martin James from Greater Manchester Police’s Online Child Abuse Investigation Team (OCAIT) said: “This week of action that will run from Monday 25 March until Friday 29 March 2024 is incredibly important to us for reaffirming to the public our commitment to tackling these types of offences.

“The team already work hard to identify offenders, bringing them to justice and safeguarding victims of sexual abuse, so we are building on the work we do already and continue to do each and every day.

“Tackling the production, downloading and distribution of indecent images online is only part of the work we do, but something we take really seriously. The contribution of charities like Lucy Faithfull Foundation, who work with offenders to stop this destructive behaviour, is really important.

“Our message is clear; GMP remains committed to protecting children from all forms of sexual abuse and we will not stop bringing offenders to justice.”

Anyone worried about their own or a loved one’s online behaviour should seek support from the confidential Stop it Now! Helpline ran by Lucy Faithfull on 0808 1000 900 or by visiting www.stopitnow.org.uk or Lucy Faithfull Foundation | Preventing Child Sex Abuse.

You can report offences to GMp by dialling 101 or via the LiveChat function on the website www.gmp.police.uk. Emergencies should be reported by calling 999.

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