Phone human-readable description of the message we trying to accomplish. Search human-readable description of the message we trying to accomplish. Map pin human-readable description of the message we trying to accomplish.

IWF uses cookies to ensure we give you the best experience on our website. Find out more about cookies Hide

The laws and assessment levels

The Laws

Our status as a relevant authority for reporting, assessing and removing child sexual abuse material on the internet is recognised in a Memorandum of Understanding between the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) - now the National Police Chief's Council (NPCC) - linked to Section 46 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. 

Each report we process is manually assessed by our highly trained analysts. Their assessments are accurate and trusted by the police and internet industry across the globe.

Our analysts assess each report against legal guidelines.

Assessment Levels

We assess child sexual abuse material according to the levels detailed in the Sentencing Council's Sexual Offences Definitive Guideline. The Indecent Photographs of Children section (page 75) outlines the different categories of child sexual abuse material:   

Category Description
A Images involving penetrative sexual activity; images involving sexual activity with an animal or sadism.
B Images involving non-penetrative sexual activity.
C Other indecent images not falling within categories A or B.

These categories for Image Assessment are effective from 1 April 2014 and replace the previous levels 1 – 5 which were contained within the guidance issued in April 2007 by the Sentencing Guidelines Council.

Case laws

Case laws are important in relation to the laws we assess the images against because they enhance our understanding of the legislation. 

Here are some case laws that are specifically related to our work in removing illegal online content.

*We use the term child sexual abuse to reflect the gravity of the images and videos we deal with. Child pornography, child porn and kiddie porn are not acceptable descriptions. A child cannot consent to their own abuse. 

Report here