Web is blamed for 20 per cent leap in sex attacks by children

The Evening Standard (UK) 03 Mar 07
Internet pornography was blamed yesterday for a dramatic rise in the number of sex offences committed by children. Experts said the behaviour of youngsters was being changed by ready access to sexual imagery. The number of cases in which children received court orders or warnings for sex offences has jumped by 20 per cent from 1,664 in 2002/03 to 1,988 last year. A shocking 143 cases involved 12-year-olds. There were 41 in which the accused was 11 and 21 where they were just ten.Tink Palmer, of the Internet Watch Foundation, warned that the real amount of offending could be far higher because as much as 90 per cent of sexual abuse goes unreported. She said she had seen cases where children had become addicted to Internet pornography or had been groomed in chatrooms to access it.