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Simon Bailey became the NPCC lead for Child Protection and Investigation in 2014

He says Lower offending should be de-criminalised

Increase in sexual abuse reports means police have reached 'saturation point'

Some people have criticised the shocking proposal that it will encourage peadophiles to offend

Paedophiles should not face jail for looking at pornographic images of children unless they are a physical threat to youngsters, says Britain’s most senior child protection officer.

He said officers should instead focus on the most dangerous offenders who have access to youngsters or are directing abuse online.

The Chief Constable said lower level offending should be decriminalised and dealt with through counselling and rehabilitation.

Mr Bailey, chief constable of Norfolk Constabulary and lead on child protection at the National Police Chiefs Council, confirmed that an increase in reporting of sexual abuse – including historical cases – has led to the policing system reaching ‘saturation point’.

He added: ‘It has now reached that point where we have to try to turn the tide. We have to look at alternatives.’

Peter Saunders, of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, disagreed and said the move could be ‘extremely unhelpful to child protection’.

But the NSPCC said the huge rise in offences made it impossible to ‘arrest our way out of the situation’.

My opinion- I believe that anyone who go online and search for photos of children just to look at them for their own sexual pleasure, should be cautioned or prosecuted.

People who search for pictures or videos of children being sexually abused are not normal and if they get any slightest opportunity to physically abuse a child, they will definitely do it.

Photo credit- Daily Mail UK