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Web paedophiles not being treated, warns Napo
Sentencing for online sex offenders is too lenient and many are failing to undergo proper treatment, the probation officers' union Napo has said.
It warned high risk paedophiles were not being locked up long enough to take part in rehabilitation courses.
One man caught with 24,000 indecent images, including serious abuse pictures, was given 12 months and not made to follow an intensive programme.
The Prison Service said sentencing was "entirely a matter for the courts".
The maximum prison term for web paedophiles at the Crown Court is 10 years.
Napo's report uncovered jail sentences of less than a year and community punishment for those caught in possession of child sex abuse material.
It said the enforcement of offender programmes was too lax despite recommendations from probation officers.
"There is evidence that treatment in prison, followed by relapse follow-up on licence in the community, is effective and reduces reoffending.
"These are not victimless crimes. There is an urgent need to review sentencing practice and law to ensure that risk to children is minimised."
The report contained evidence of 68 cases from 20 probation areas across England and Wales.
In one case, a man caught with 21,000 child sex images was given an 18-month term with no treatment attached.
A Prison Service spokesman said: "Sentencing in individual cases is entirely a matter for the courts.
"Sex offender treatment programmes are delivered in prison and the community while the offender is on licence or under a community order."
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