The number of reported sexual abuse crimes against children increased by more than a third in 2018, a General Police Headquarters of Poland (KGP) report for the well-known Polish daily, Rzeczpospolita, states.
The number of reported cases rose from 4,374 to 5,898 − over 1,500 more in 2018 as compared to the previous year.
According to the police, that is the result of crackdowns on criminal circles exchanging child pornography.
“At least a few times a year we organise large operations against ‘networked’ pedophiles, and once in a while with the Europol,” a KGP spokesperson was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
The highest rise regarding crimes of perpetuating, possessing or distributing child pornography was noted by the police. There were nearly 3,500 cases reported in 2018 compared to 1,900 cases last year.
However, according to the police data, the number of child rapes also increased. In 2018, there were 156 cases reported − 47 more than the previous year.
The increase in reported crimes is due to the fact that the society is becoming more sensitive to child abuse, experts and investigators told the daily, adding that the crimes committed against children by priests were getting reported and that the victims were breaking their silence.
The Polish justice ministry’s Registry of Sexual Crimes, as well as a map − created by politician Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus along with Warsaw-based “Do not be afraid” Foundation − points the cities, towns or villages in Poland where sexual abuse by clergy was reported.