Notice from Cumbria Constabulary

Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day Saturday 18th March 2017

Cumbria Constabulary are investigating an increasing amount of cases where children have been groomed online by strangers.

Children are being befriended on various Apps and are being persuaded to send indecent images and videos of themselves, sometimes engaging in sexual acts, which the perpetator requests for their own and others sexual gratification.

There is a growing culture among young people engaging in sexting, which is where under 18s are possessing, sharing, or generating indecent imagery of themselves or other children.

By being actively involved in this they may put themselves at risk and are not understanding the consequences of their actions.

In order to raise awareness we would like to share with you some guidance on where to look for information on how to keep children safe online.

I would encourage parents and guardians to speak with their children regularly about what they are doing online and who they are communicating with. I acknowledge that it is very difficult in this day and age as in some cases children may not want to speak to their parents about personal issues. It is therefore important to be able to offer children alternatives for support and guidance.

Cumbria Constabulary has expert advice available on its website which can help you understand the dangers that are online and how best to protect children from engaging with predators. This page is regularly updated with the latest information on new apps and how to use them safely. To access this information please visit www.cumbria.police.uk and select the ‘advice centre’ tab where there is information on personal and online safety.

If you have any concerns about a child please contact the Cumbria Safeguarding Hub by calling 0333 240 1727 or Cumbria Constabulary on 101. In the event of an emergency contact 999.

Safeguarding is everyones responsibility by working together we can help to keep children in Cumbria safe.

Kind regards,

Jenny Beattie

Detective Inspector

Digital Media Investigation Unit

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