It looks as though the Internet Watch Foundation has only just finished filtering through last year's web content. It has discovered an increase of 34% since 2005.

In over 3000 websites were found more than 10,000 reported pages containing illegal child abuse content. The IWF believe the increase is down to awareness of its reporting service and procedures.

Most disturbing is the age of the children involved, with most under the age of 12. More than 3000 web pages contained images depicting the most severe abuse, such as penetrative and sadistic sexual activity, the report said.

There are nearly 1000 sites that act commercially selling images of young girls in particular.

"The images we are seeing are predominantly prepubescent, young children", said Peter Robbins, chief executive of the IWF. "They have no choice. There is no consent - they are being raped."

The difficulty tracking this activity, run largely by criminal gangs, is challenging and time consuming. Most illegal websites sit on a number of servers and break images up that only appear in full once downloaded. One site has been reported 224 times, however discovering the source has been near to impossible, the IWF has advised.