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Do you know what your child is looking at?

Detectives from Cheshire Police are urging parents to speak to their children about sharing images online, following a recent case.

On Saturday 6 July detectives from the Protecting Vulnerable People team were contacted by a concerned parent who reported they believed their 13-year-old daughter was being groomed on social media.

Following enquiries officers have since found that an unknown man had sent the teenager a number of inappropriate videos on snapchat, and that the child had also sent images of themselves to the offender.

As a result of the report, officers have discovered that the man also appears to have been in contact with at least six other children via social media.

An investigation into the reports is ongoing and officers are doing all they can to identify the offender.

While the investigation is ongoing, detectives are urging other parents to speak to their children about what they are doing online.

Detective Sergeant Joe Davies, of the Northern Proactive Policing Team, said:

“While mobile phones and social media can be a valuable tool for parents and their children, unfortunately we know they are well used by those who prey on children and are only interested in fulfilling their own sexual gratification.

“Many of these people will specifically target young children, convincing them that they are in love, and coercing them into sharing images and videos of themselves through social media.

“That is why we want all parents to speak to their children about what they are doing on their phones, what apps they’ve got installed and who they’re communicating with.

“While we understand that this can be a difficult conversation, it essential that young people understand that it’s not normal to view or share inappropriate images and videos online, not only is it really dangerous and harmful, but also once an image has been sent, they never know where it will end up.”

Further advice and support for parents in relation to online child abuse is available on the Cheshire Police website at: 

https://www.cheshire.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/caa/child-abuse/online-child-abuse/ 

https://www.getsafeonline.org/

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