In 2014, the police received some 3 thousand reports, this year there were 30 thousand, according to a study by Bureau Beke, reports.

The researchers attribute the massive increase to the fact that companies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft are now required to report if they come across potentially child pornographic material.

The massive influx in reports puts extra pressure on the police, despite the capacity of investigations into child pornography being increased. “The range of cases remains large and the police must make well-considered choices about which cases will and will not be picked up”, the researchers write.

Thousands of reports go uninvestigated – 7 thousand investigations were launched based on the 30 thousand reports. And 300 cases ended up with the Public Prosecution Service. The researchers call this low number “undesirable”. Not only because it means that potentially urgent cases are left unattended, but also because it sends a wrong signal to the “simple” child pornography perpetrators who think they won’t get caught. According to the researchers, these “simple” perpetrators hold and maintain an important part of the child porn market.

Extra manpower is needed at both the police and Public Prosecution Service, the researchers said.

They also said that the Netherlands “plays a key role worldwide in the phenomenon of child pornography”, mainly due to the country’s good digital infrastructure.

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Aida Maes