Internet Sexual Offences

The possession of indecent images of children is an abhorrent crime which a specialist team of officers in Humberside Police’s Police Online Investigation Team (POLIT) work tirelessly to investigate with the ultimate aim of protecting victims, catching offenders and preventing further offences.

What is the Police Online Investigation Team (POLIT)?

The POLIT is a group of dedicated detectives that deal with the ever growing world of sexual predators.  They deal with those who target children online in order to commit offences against them as well as those offenders who use the web to share indecent images of children.  This is an incredibly serious worldwide problem, which perpetuates the abuse of the youngest and most vulnerable in our society.

POLIT are the link between Humberside Police and CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) and work closely alongside the National Crime Agency (NCA) to gather evidence against offenders in our area and to bring them to justice.

What does possession of indecent images mean?

It is an offence to possess indecent photographs of children. The law is governed under section 1 of Protection of Children Act 1978. The viewing and making of indecent images causes real harm to real children. Viewing sexual images of anyone under the age of 18 is a crime. We will prosecute those who commit this offence. Our POLIT tackle people who use the Internet to seek to sexually abuse children. Being caught viewing indecent images of children may also affect your relationship, your access to children, and your job.

The children in the pictures are real children, who suffer real harm.

What are indecent images of children?

‘Indecent images of children’ is the legal term for a sexual image of anyone aged under 18 and includes pictures showing: nude or partially clothed children, children sexually posing, self-generated sexual images by children (selfies) and images depicting children engaging in sexual activity

What is the sentence for downloading indecent images?

The consequences for this offence are severe. They could include a prison sentence and being placed on the Sex Offenders Register.  The indecent images offences have a statutory maximum of five years' imprisonment for possession of images and 10 years' imprisonment for the distribution, taking or making of such images.

How to report indecent images of children:

If you think someone has, is making or is distributing indecent images, please contact us on 101

You may encounter indecent images of children online or be sent them by email. If this happens contact us on 101 straight away - do not print, email or share the images. If you believe a child is in immediate danger call 999 straight away.

If you are worried about online sexual abuse or the way someone has been communicating with you or a loved one online, there is more information available via the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) command at: 

The Lucy Faithfull Foundation: “Our mission is to prevent the sexual abuse of children and young people by working with protective adults, those affected by abuse and those perpetrating it, including young people with harmful sexual behaviour. We are committed to using our expert knowledge to impact on public policy, and to educate families, professionals and the public. We help children and young people to stay safe in all our work.

“We believe child sexual abuse is preventable, not inevitable.” To find out more about the work of the foundation follow this link:

For more national information and advice about online abuse and how to stay safe only please take a look at these websites: