SCHOOLS should do more to teach children about the dangers of sharing sexual content online, a think-tank report has recommended.

The scale of the problem means police and other law enforcement agencies should focus on those carrying out the abuse and making images rather than low-level offenders, the report suggested.

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology could also play a key role in tackling the problem of child sexual abuse images (CSAI), the paper by cross-party think-tank Demos said.

Loading article content

In its report, which drew on evidence from experts, including industry watchdog the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), Demos highlighted the problem of youngsters “sexting”–producing their own illegal material.

One-fifth of reported images in 2015 were “self-generated”, around 16 per cent of young people aged 11-16 have reported sending sexual images in the UK and one in six people reported to the police for indecent images are minors, according to research referenced in the report.

The Demos report said the issues should be part of the personal, social, health and economic (PHSE) curriculum in schools. “The pitfalls of sharing content online, including sexual content, should form part of the syllabus,” the report said.