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Over 1,500 Scots sought help from charity to stop viewing images of kids

This news post is about 7 years old

Alarming number seek help for viewing indecent images of children online

A child protection campaign has revealed 1,500 people in Scotland visited its website seeking support to stop viewing images of children.

Stop It Now also revealed 78 men from Scotland had called its helpline in 2016.

And the UK-wide campaign which is run by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation received 28 calls from people in Scotland who were concerned about another adult.

Stuart Allardyce, the director for Stop it Now in Scotland, said: "We make sure these men understand the harm they have caused the children in these images, and also the serious consequences for them and their families if they don't get to grips with their online behaviour.

"Once they understand this, they become far less likely to reoffend. But there are thousands of men out there viewing sexual images of under-18s.

"We need to get to them too, to help them understand what they are doing is illegal and incredibly harmful to the children and young people in the images - and to get them to stop."

Stop it Now offers anonymous support and advice to those worried about their own online sexual behaviour or someone else's.

The charity has worked with hundreds of men in Scotland who have been arrested for viewing sexual images of children, aiming to help them realise the harm their behaviour causes.

In 2013, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) estimated that as many as 50,000 individuals in the UK were involved in downloading or sharing sexual images of children.

Police Scotland assistant chief constable John Hawkins said: "Police Scotland is determined to work with our statutory partners, with support services and importantly with our communities to do all we can to eliminate child sexual abuse," he said.

"Changing offender behaviour is a vitally important element of this work. Stop It Now provides abusers and potential abusers troubled by their sexual thoughts regarding children access to support. In turn this can help them to manage their thoughts and behaviour."