The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) in the UK has sounded a warning that paedophiles are on the prowl , trying to get hold of indecent pictures of children from webcams.
It said that some of the still and moving images captured on webcams may be self-taken, as a result of online grooming, or passed on via webcam streaming chat sites.
In its annual review, Ceop said the volume of indecent images remained challenging and the rise in pictures captured via webcams was notable.
"These can be self-taken as a result of online grooming, for example, inciting a child to commit a sexual act and then using video capture software to record the video streams for later viewing and trading and/or use as blackmail to ensure further compliance by the child," the BBC quoted the report as stating.
"Similarly, there is also a marked trend of the use of webcam streaming chat sites, enabling offenders to interact either through instant messages and/or webcam to share previously captured footage or live-time images of abuse of children in their care," it said.
The centre is also cracking down on paedophiles travelling abroad.he Ceop report said its overseas tracker team, which works to disrupt paedophiles travelling abroad to abuse children, had become "more proactive than ever before".
It said new ways of tracking offenders and better tactical intelligence gathering had seen 58 arrests, deportations or warrants issued.
"The government is committed to protecting children and Ceop plays a vital role which means more children are safeguarded, more offenders are apprehended and more professionals are trained," James Brokenshire, Minister for Crime Prevention, stated.