Are we slowly waking up to the pressing need to deal with child sexual abuse?

Something interesting is happening in the territory of child sexual abuse. The arrests over the last few days indicate a few rather disturbing patterns…

Police forces across the country have arrested 660 suspected paedophiles including doctors, teachers and former police officers in the biggest operation for more than ten years targeting online child abusers.

A junior paediatric doctor is among the suspects, who along with a second man, is suspected of having more than a million indecent images of children, according to details released by the National Crime Agency.

What’s especially disturbing is the inclusion of professions which play a crucial role in the prevention or detection of such crimes.

In the US it appears that whilst the net may be tempting people into criminal offences who would not previously have done so, it is also leading to a surge in the reporting of such crimes

As one contact who works in the field in Northern Ireland put it to Slugger last week, everyone is beginning to smell the coffee, but the question is do they really have an appetite to drink?

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty