Child porn cases up 10% in ’12 / Record-high 1,596 cases found due to increased awareness, efforts
Police detected a record-high 1,596 child pornography cases in 2012, up 9.7 percent from the previous year, the National Police Agency said Thursday.
Police data collected by the agency indicated child pornography is spreading via the Internet, with about 20 percent of distribution cases involving images and videos that have been circulating on websites and DVDs for five years or longer.
Of 1,264 victims, 531 were identified as being under the age of 18, while the remaining 733 unidentified victims were regarded as children through an age estimation process, according to the agency.
The total number of victims increased by 12 from the previous year.
Nineteen percent of 952 child porn distribution cases, or 184, featured pornography produced five or more years ago that was used in previously uncovered cases.
The victims in these cases were 28 girls, aged 10-17, and they included a video recorded in 2001, according to the agency.
Cases in which child pornography was distributed using file-sharing software increased 1.4-fold to 519 cases. According to the agency, the rate of cases using such software has been increasing every year.
“The number of detected cases increased as police crackdowns strengthened, but many victims are still unidentified,” an NPA official said.
The agency will continue in its efforts to crack down on child porn fan groups and the use of file-sharing software to distribute child pornography, the official said.
The agency also reported that there was a record 472 child abuse cases nationwide in 2012, up 22.9 percent, involving a record 476 victims, up 19.6 percent.
However, the number of child fatalities from abuse fell by seven to a record-low 32 cases, or 6.7 percent of total victims.
“Growing public awareness has lead to increased reports to police, and improved early rescue efforts led to a drop in the fatality rate,” an official said.
A record 16,387 possible child abuse cases, up 42.1 percent, were reported to child consultation centers. Of that number, 8,266, up 69 percent, were linked to psychological abuse, such as abusive language or threats at knifepoint.
In two-thirds of the 8,266 cases, children likely witnessed domestic violence between their parents.
(Mar. 8, 2013)