Internet Watch Foundation

Internet Watch Foundation logoThe Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) operates the only internet 'hotline' in the UK for reporting illegal images on the web.

Working in partnership with police, government, the internet and mobile industries, the IWF provides this free service for the general public which is aimed at minimising the availability of illegal content to protect Internet users.

What do we mean by illegal images on the web?

This means images and in some cases text, which you see or may be inadvertently exposed to on a website, which contains any of the following:

  • Child sexual abuse images hosted anywhere in the world,
  • Criminally obscene adult content hosted in the UK and
  • Non-photographic child sexual abuse images hosted in the UK.

If you genuinely stumble across such images accidentally, or are inadvertently exposed to them you must report them to the IWF. 

It is an offence to deliberately seek out illegal images and purposely viewing child abuse images can carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

Why should I report these images?

Reports from the public help us to combat this content and where possible, have it removed. This makes the Internet a safer place for everyone. 

Child abuse images reflect the real abuse of a child and your reports to the hotline might help the authorities to trace and rescues a young victim from further abuse.

How do I report?

Go to the IWF website and complete the step-by-step form. The form is easy to navigate and reports can be submitted anonymously.



Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.