According to data to which BBC Mundo has had access, the week of March 17 to 24, there were some 17,000 downloads of material with child pornography. The following week, March 24-31, downloads rose to more than 21,000, means that they increased almost 25%.
In a report by the European Police Office (Europol) published in early April, its executive director, Catherine de Bolle, declared herself “concerned about the increase in child sexual abuse online” in the countries most affected by the pandemic.
Italy was the first western country to declare, on March 9, a state of confinement throughout the national territory, a measure that is still in force.
How COVID-19 helped increase child pornography online
Also according to the data that BBC Mundo had access to, between March 1 and April 15, 2019, 83 crimes were reported in Italy for crimes related to child pornography online. In the same period this year – which coincides with the quarantine period – there have been 181 complaints, more than double.
In addition, so far this year, the Italian police have seized 108,123 GB of this type of digital content, which is equivalent to downloading the entire Netflix series “La casa de papel” on the mobile phone 50 times.
Finally, the Italian police registered a decrease in the average age of the victims: so far this year, the most affected are minors between 10 and 13 years old.