Child porn offenders could walk free

A number of suspected child porn offenders may escape trial as Swedish police, despite training 100 specialized staff, struggle to get through their caseload.

Time is running out in around 20 cases for which the statute of limitations may prevent a prosecution.

“We have cases that are beginning to get very old now. We’re hoping to get to grips with these and make sure that they are fully investigated before the limitation takes effect,” Stefan Kronqvist, head of the police’s IT crime division, told public radio news programme Ekot.

Each year police tackle 300 to 400 new child pornography cases.

According to Kronqvist, police resources have been stretched as the average amount of material confiscated has risen dramatically over the last few years.

While in 2004 it was common to find collections of 10,000 to 100,000 pictures and films, now it is not unusual to find two million pictures and films. And film clips that once lasted 20 to 30 seconds are now often two hours long.

The police say they cannot afford to commit more resources to crimes that the justice system does not consider among the most serious.

“We wish these crimes were prioritized since there are children involved,” said Kronqvist.