Child porn investigators help free 130 Dutch kids from abuse last year; 380 arrests

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In 2017 the police rescued 130 Dutch children involved in child pornography. The number of child pornography accusations keeps rising at a large extent, according to figures of the Bestrijding Kinderporno and Kindersekstoerisme teams.

Last year the police received 18,000 reports about the uploading or downloading of child pornography by Dutch users. That's a 50 percent increase over 2016 when 12,000 such claims were made. According to the police this rise has to do with the increasing availability of child pornography on the internet and a better ability to find and identify the material.

In 130 cases it was possible to recognize a Dutch victim, leading to the arrest of 380 suspects, the national coordinator of the police teams, Ben van Mierlo, told NOS. "It could be a sports instructor who we find in possession of a child's photos, or a grandfather that has been abusive towards his grandchildren or the neighborhood kids".

More than 100 of the people arrested are suspected of having produced child pornography, while the rest are suspected of spreading or downloading the material. The children were entrusted to care organizations.

Many notifications came from the United States last year, the report said. When American high-tech companies discover that child pornography is being spread through their systems or being stored in the cloud, they are obligated to pass this on to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. This center then passes the information to the countries involved. Together with this the police squards also conduct their own investigations. 

The police can only deal with a portion of all the declarations. "We filter the biggest cases", says Van Mierlo, "The focus is on the child pornography producers and rescuing the children, and to a smaller extent on individuals who download it". 

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