Internet child sexual abuse is reaching "epidemic" levels in the UK but police forces are "woefully under-resourced" for carrying out investigations, according to a new report.
The Commons home affairs committee has estimated that 80,000 people may present some form of sexual threat to children online, but warned forces are failing to meet the challenges of the digital age.
It described investment in and adoption of new technology as a "complete and utter mess", and MPs found that this also had a knock-on effect on online fraud cases, as only a tiny proportion are ever investigated.
As a result, "it appears highly unlikely" that more than one in 200 victims of online fraud would ever see the perpetrator convicted.
Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who chairs the committee, said: "Police officers across the country are performing a remarkable public service in increasingly difficult circumstances, but forces are badly overstretched.
"Crime is up, charges and arrests are down, and the police service is struggling to respond effectively to emerging and growing challenges, such as online fraud and online child abuse.
"Policing urgently needs more money."
The home affairs committee's report also found:
:: Policing was at risk of becoming "irrelevant" in some neighbourhoods because they are "struggling to cope"
:: "Volume" offences like robbery and vehicle related theft are increasing at an alarming rate
:: Despite recorded crime being up by a third in three years, charges and summonses have fallen by 26%
:: The number of officers involved in neighbourhood policing has fallen by a fifth since 2010.
According to the committee, there could be dire consequences for public safety unless forces are provided with additional funding, with the Home Office accused of a "complete failure of leadership" when it comes to policing.
A Home Office spokesman said: "The home secretary has already been clear that he will prioritise funding for the police.
"We have been on the front foot in engaging with police.
"The policing minister has spoken to leaders in every force in England and Wales to better understand the demand and changing nature of crime faced by forces.
"We are now working closely with the police to gather the evidence to ensure they continue to receive the resources they need at the next spending review."
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Che Donald, the vice chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, added: "If government don't listen now, they can't say they haven't been warned.
"They need to recognise the true cost of policing, or else the police will not be able to fulfil their duties and keep the public safe."