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Revenge Porn Helpline

Volume 611: debated on Thursday 26 May 2016

10. What assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Government’s revenge porn helpline. (905121)

Let me be clear that revenge porn is an abhorrent crime. The pilot of the revenge porn helpline has received approximately 4,000 calls, relating to 785 cases since its launch in February 2015, sadly indicating a clear need for the important practical and emotional support it provides. The helpline has been successful in removing over 1,000 illegal images online.

That demand for the revenge porn helpline reflects the fact that there were more than 1,000 police reports of online revenge porn last year, yet two thirds of those cases saw no action taken because of problems with the evidence or victims withdrawing. When will the helpline and this new law be matched with police training and the option of anonymity for victims?

The Chairman of the Women and Equalities Committee raises an important issue. We criminalised revenge porn in early 2015. Last year, there were 82 prosecutions and 74 cautions. Thousands of police officers are trained in digital crime, and revenge porn is used as a specific case study in the College of Policing mainstreaming cybercrime training programme. We must ensure that victims report the crime. I will certainly raise this matter with my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary when I next see her.