SPAIN’S top cybercrime police officer has blamed last years’ COVID-19 lockdown for a rise in child pornography cases.
Chief commissioner of the Policia Nacional’s central cybercrime unit, Agapito Hermes de Dios, told a conference at Madrid’s Complutense University that the criminal use of the internet has ‘multiplied exponentially in recent years’.
He added that the rise in child pornography was ‘especially noticeable’ since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but did not provide any figures.
Agapito Hermes de Dios said: “After the start of last year’s pandemic lockdown, we observed a huge quantitative increase in the distribution of paedophile material on the internet and comments among paedophiles that will not have such a good chance ever again to distribute material and to interact with each other.”
He commented that child pornography is the most worrying of all cybercrimes as ‘youngsters are involved’.
“The sexual harassment of minors by adults who use fake profiles to obtain pornographic material after gaining their trust, has grown enormously, “ Hermes de Dios observed.
The chief commissioner said that all forms of cybercrime were growing at an annual rate of up to 35%.
“Cybercrime generates more criminal income than drug and people trafficking,” he said.
Hermes de Dios also talked about the big rise in online frauds and identity thefts which he said ‘accounted for 90% of reported crimes’.
“As these technological crimes develop, there is a fall in traditional crimes like car thefts and home robberies.”