The number of indecent images of children offences reported in Lincolnshire have increased

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The number of offences involving indecent images of children reported to Lincolnshire Police has risen by 36 per cent in the last three years, according to figures obtained by the NSPCC.

Across the UK, the total number of offences reported to all 45 police forces has nearly tripled over the last three years, rising from 4,530 in 2013 to 10,818 in 2015.

In Lincolnshire the total rose from 49 in 2013 to 67 in 2015.

The figures also show a total of 2,031 children were among those reported to police across the UK for indecent images offences over the last three years.

The rise has led the NSPCC to call for police to be given greater resources to tackle the growing threat, highlighting the responsibility of the UK’s digital industry in tackling the issue.

And the NSPCC is urging parents to talk to children about the risks of sharing nude selfies on mobile phones and social media as this may be partly fuelling the rise in offences by under-18s.

An NSPCC survey recently revealed only half of parents knew that children taking nude selfies were committing a crime.

Detective Superintendent Nikki Mayo, from Lincs Police, said: “We have invested additional resources into this area to ensure that we can protect children from these offences and bring more offenders to justice.

“Protecting children from harm and safeguarding victims is an extremely important part of our work, and together with our partners, we work hard to raise awareness and educate children on how to keep themselves safe on-line.

“Further information on internet safety can be found on the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children’s Board website, www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/lscb/young-people.”

Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC, said: “Over the last two decades, digital technology has fuelled an explosion in the production and consumption of child sexual abuse images that increasingly involves the streaming of live video.

“Committed leadership from government, and dedicated police operations have made a real difference. But the war on child abuse images is only just beginning.”