A TOTAL of 230 people were arrested for taking, distributing or possessing indecent images of children in Hampshire last year.

The figures have prompted the NSPCC charity to call for action to stamp out the trade in child abuse images.

Julie Cole, regional head of service for South London and the South East, said: “It’s time the Government and industry got together to find an answer to this corrosive problem which cannot be allowed to continue.

“There are obviously paedophile rings which make a sordid business of sharing these images. But there are now so many in circulation that people from all walks of life are getting caught with them. They have to understand these are not just images – they are crime scenes. ”

Last month the Daily Echo reported how depraved Scout leader Earl Adams tied up a young boy for sick photographs and made another perform perverted sex acts and then shared the images with other paedophiles.

The 43-year-old, from Bitterne, Southampton, understood to have been a Scout leader in the Fareham and Gosport area, was convicted of 13 counts of possessing and distributing indecent images of children, before being convicted of two charges of sexual activity with a child and a further count of gross indecency with a child.

He was jailed for five years.