Lancashire Police officers are joining forces with a leading charity to launch a campaign to tackle growing demand for sexual images of children online.
The force is one of six across the region set to work alongside the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, which helps paedophiles tackle their offending behaviour.
Jo Edwards, head of serious crime at Lancashire Police, said accessibility of indecent images of children and the ability to be anonymous online had seen an increase in the number of people viewing images of children.
She said: “This type of offending against some of the most vulnerable members of our communities, our children, is unacceptable.
“As a police service we have a duty to protect children from harm and to deter individuals from committing these types of horrific offences and we will continue to seek to identify and convict those individuals who wish to share indecent images and engage with children online for sexual gratification.
“But we also recognise the need to educate and stop individuals from continuing to offend, or prevent individuals from offending in the first place.
“Our partnership with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation plays a key role in this, providing an online space in which to signpost individuals who are offending or about to offend, to recognise the consequences of their actions and to seek support.”
The campaign will run alongside police enforcement action to raise awareness of the problem, educate offenders about the harm caused to children and highlight the increase in police activity and arrests.