The total figure for the county hit 174 – the equivalent of 1.9 web abuse offences every day.
And in neighbouring Northamptonshire the number of online sex crimes reported reached 200 – or 2.2 online crimes a day.
Obscene publications and online grooming were among the offences allegedly carried out.
The devastating snapshot of how youngsters are being targeted online day in day out across the UK has been laid out by the NSPCC.
The top children’s charity is now setting out six tests it says the Government’s regulation of social media will be judged on.
The NSPCC is calling for tough new action to protect children in the upcoming Online Harms Bill.
The charity is urging the Government to “ensure they level the playing field for children – and new laws finally force tech firms to tackle the avoidable harm caused by their sites”.
The NSPCC fears that online abuse has soared during the long Covid-19 lockdown.
“The NSPCC has routinely highlighted the growing levels of abuse and harm caused to children on social media platforms, and believe the problem has been exacerbated by the fallout from coronavirus.
“At the Hidden Harms summit earlier this year, the Prime Minister signalled his personal determination to legislate for ambitious regulation that successfully combats child abuse,” said the charity.
“But the NSPCC is worried the landmark opportunity to change the landscape for children online could be missed if this isn’t translated by Government into law.”
The charity has released its six tests ahead of a full consultation response to the White Paper, amid fears Ministers won’t impose “robust regulation”.
The NSPCC said that regulation must:
Create an expansive, principles-based duty of care
Comprehensively tackle online sexual abuse
Put legal but harmful content and an equal footing with illegal material
Have robust transparency and investigatory powers
Hold industry to account with criminal and financial sanctions
Give civil society a legal voice for children with user advocacy arrangements.
The charity believes, if done correctly, regulation could set a British model that leads the world in child protection online.
But Peter Wanless, the NSPCC’s chief executive, warned that “failing to pass any of the six tests will mean that rather than tech companies paying the cost of their inaction, future generations of children will pay with serious harm and sexual abuse that could have been stopped”.
The pandemic is set to ignite long-term changes to the online child abuse threat, with high-risk livestreaming and video chat becoming more popular.
Changes to working patterns, meaning more offenders working at home, could result in a greater demand for sexual abuse images and increased opportunities for grooming.
“Industry inaction is fuelling this staggering number of sex crimes against children and the fallout from coronavirus has heightened the risks of abuse now and in the future,” said Mr Wanless.
“The Prime Minister has the chance of a lifetime to change this by coming down on the side of children and families, with urgent regulation that is a bold and ambitious UK plan to truly change the landscape of online child protection.
“The Online Harms Bill must become a Government priority, with unwavering determination to take the opportunity to finally end the avoidable, serious harm children face online because of unaccountable tech firms.”