Paedophiles grooming for sex online commit more than 3,000 crimes

Paedophiles grooming children for sex online have already committed more than 3,000 crimes since crackdown last year

  • Three quarters of child abuse by sexual predators online was on social media 
  • Paedophiles have accessed more than 80 sites to groom vulnerable children, according to police figures obtained by the NSPCC
  • The group most targeted by the online groomers was girls aged 12 to 15

Paedophiles using the internet to groom children as young as five for sex have already committed more than 3,000 crimes following the introduction of a new law last year.

Three quarters of child abuse by sexual predators online occurred on social media websites including Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. The most targeted group was girls aged 12 to 15, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Paedophiles have accessed more than 80 sites to groom vulnerable children, according to police figures obtained by the NSPCC. In the first year since new sex communication legislation was introduced in England, 3,171 offences have been committed against children.

Popular social media platforms, including Facebook are being used to groom children

Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive, said: ‘Social networks must be forced to design extra protections for children into their platforms, including algorithms to detect grooming to prevent abuse from escalating.’   

Popular social media platforms, including Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, account for three quarters of the abuses of children by sexual predators online, with the most targeted group being girls between 12 and 15 years old.

Paedophiles have accessed over 80 sites to groom vulnerable children, according to police figures obtained by the NSPCC.

The shocking figures may come as a blow to English authorities after similar sex communication legislation in Scotland was seemingly more effective, the Telegraph reported.

Now campaigners have issued an impassioned plea to the government and social media platforms to provide better safety online for children and to implement an independent online regulator. 

Official data obtained through Freedom of Information requests by the NSPCC reveal that in the first year since new sex communication legislation was introduced in England, 3,171 offences have been committed against children.

The astonishing figure is double the number of offences expected by the NSPCC. One fifth of the cases involved children under 10 years old.

Three apps accounted for 70 per cent of the cases. They were Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. Other apps included Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger..

Paedophiles have accessed over 80 sites to groom vulnerable children according to police

Many of the reported groomers were also charged with offline offences including rape and sexual assault.

One victim, Mared Parry, from North Wales, was sent sexual messages from much older men on Facebook when she was 14 and has written about her ordeal.

She revealed that at the beginning of her run-in with groomers, the messages they exchanged were fairly inncuous.

‘But as the weeks went on, they started sending messages that were more and more sexual,’ she said. 

‘It was so subtle; that’s why it is so easy for an online chat to slip into being so wrong.

‘If I didn’t reply or speak the way they wanted me to, then they would say: ‘You’re just too immature for me’. 

‘They were so manipulative, but you don’t even notice it.

‘Looking back at it now, it’s scary to think that I sent semi-naked pictures to older guys. It could have gone a lot further,’ she said.

The NSPCC research comes ahead of the NSPCC’s annual report and conference this week, which will be addressed by Mr Hancock. 

 

 

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