An investigation by The Observer has revealed that lenient sentencing and a failure to recognise offenders as paedophiles is fuelling "an epidemic" of Internet child pornography.
According to a spokesman for the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers, many courts fail to recognise child pornography and the dissemination of it, as abuse. Offenders frequently receive light sentences such as community service, according to the Observer.
The case of Gary Glitter, sentenced to four months imprisonment for downloading 4,000 images of child pornography, is blamed by professionals for creating a perception that four months is a standard sentence for such crimes.
The National Criminal Intelligence Service fears that the problem will become more serious as more people get online.
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