German police recorded a significant increase in child sexual abuse last year compared to a year earlier, the country’s top criminal police official said on Monday.
BERLIN (AP) – German police have seen a significant increase in child sexual abuse last year from a year earlier, a senior criminal police official said Monday.
More than 39,000 cases – or an increase of 108.8% – came to the attention of the authorities last year, according to a special analysis of police statistics provided to journalists in Berlin. These cases include the distribution, acquisition, storage and production of images of sexual violence against children and adolescents.
According to the report, reported cases of child sexual abuse last year rose 6.3% to more than 15,500. , head of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany.
Authorities estimate that one to two students per school class suffer from sexual violence in Germany.
Munch also said more people were reporting suspected child abuse than in the past.
“We very much welcome this: serious acts of violence against children and young people, as the weakest members of society, must be especially outlawed, persecuted and stopped,” he said.
German Independent Commissioner for Sexual Abuse of Children Kerstin Klaus noted that Europe has become a center for the spread of violence.
“We need to expand European cooperation and much greater investment in human and technological resources of investigative bodies,” she demanded. “Every success of an investigation is important because it provides an opportunity to stop child abuse and prevent further action.”
Later on Monday, Cologne police and prosecutors presented new findings on suspicion of sexual abuse of children.
Cologne Police President Falk Schnabel told reporters that a 44-year-old German man from Vermelskirchen near Cologne had been arrested on suspicion of several cases of child abuse and possession of large numbers of child abuse images both in video and photographs.
“I’m really shocked and stunned,” Schnabel said. “I have never encountered such a level of inhuman cruelty and callous indifference to the suffering of young children suffering from pain with screaming and obvious fear.”
In addition to child pornography, authorities also found on the man’s computer a list of more than 70 suspects who shared or possessed child abuse materials with the main suspect. These suspects are now also being investigated, Schnabel said.
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