LEP. United Kingdom
Speaking at the launch of the NCA’s annual national assessment of serious and organised crime, Lynne Owens said there could be 140,000 people with a sexual interest in children in Britain who access images online.
Previous estimates made public in late 2017 put the figure at around 20,000, and more recently at 80,000, but investigations into the dark web have unearthed thousands more accounts accessing the worst kind of images.
The NCA has found 2.88 million users registered on child abuse networks on the dark web, at least 5% of which – around 140,000 – are UK-based. It is not known whether each of these is one individual, or whether users have multiple accounts.