More People Arrested for Online Trolling in UK than Sentenced for Downloading Child Pornography

By Ewan Culwich

The rate of internet trolls facing arrest for ‘hate speech’ surpasses the rate of paedophiles sentenced for downloading child porn, official statistics reveal.

Last year 2,528 people were sentenced at a crown court for possessing indecent images of children. Meanwhile 9 people are arrested per day for offensive remarks made online, the Times estimates. When multiplied by 365, this gives us an estimate of 3,285 who face questioning over their comments.

This soaring number of arrests, under the guise of shutting down hate speech, comes prior to, and in the aftermath of, the newly established national online hate crime hub, a branch of the Home Office.

On the matter, former Home Secretary Amber Rudd stated, “What is illegal offline is illegal online, and those who commit these cowardly crimes should be met with the full force of the law.”

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Police arrest 1.3x more internet trolls than courts sentence adults in possession of child pornography. Credit: BGR

But until Monday this week, no similar efforts were promised to punish paedophiles, as evidence disclosed less than 1/4 of those sentenced for downloading images depicting child sex abuse face jail time. A fifth are given community service, and almost half suspended sentences.

Now the government has promised to pursue a crackdown, amidst this “horrifying” surge, with Solicitor General Robert Auckland saying that sex offenders who look at children on the internet are just as “insidious” as the abusers themselves.

According to the Telegraph, the government is planning to enable victims and ordinary members of the public to challenge sentences handed down for downloading indecent images.

This leaves many in the public to wonder why the authorities prioritized preventing the distribution of online offence, over preventing the distribution of child pornography.