Explosive increase in child pornography forms national threat: Dutch police

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Wildfeuer). (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Wildfeuer))

The number of child pornography reports in the Netherlands is increasing enormously, AD reports based on the police's National Trend Report that will be published this week. The police expect to receive around 20 thousand child porn reports with a Dutch link this year, compared to 12 thousand last year. The report speaks of a "threat to Dutch society", according to the newspaper. 

In addition to more reports, there is also an increase in child pornography footage. While there are many old photos and videos in circulation, more and more new material is being added, according to the report. Many of the tips the Dutch police receive come from abroad. Most reports come from the United States' National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Internet companies like Facebook, Instagram and Google report child pornography to the center, which in turn informs the relevant authorities. 

"Investigations are taking longer, which means we detect fewer perpetrators and victims", the national coordinator for child pornography Ben van Mierlo said to the newspaper. Investigations are more complicated and labor intensive because perpetrators are increasingly able to better shield themselves. "Thanks to technological delights, such as encryption and systems on which footage disappears with the push of a button."

Another problem investigators face is the fact that internet service providers are no longer obliged to store customer data, which results in evidence being lost. In some cases the police are certain that a suspect spread child pornography in a certain period, but they can no longer get evidence from internet service providers, according to Van Mierlo. 

Last year the Dutch police saved 200 children in the Netherlands from the hands of sexual predators. The victims were identified through child porn footage. "The impact on victims is huge", Van Mierlo said. "They have no trust in fellow human beings and function poorly at school and later in their work. Society is presented with the bill of all kinds of fallout and psychiatric care."