UK News: Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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UK NewsChildren at risk waiting for social media grooming law

09:50  11 september  2019
09:50  11 september  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

Members of alleged grooming gang 'used and abused' vulnerable young girls

Members of alleged grooming gang 'used and abused' vulnerable young girls Ten members of a grooming gang have been accused of "using and abusing" a number of vulnerable young girls. The group of nine men and one woman are accused of "deliberately targeting" the victims aged between 12 and 16 in Huddersfield, West Yorks, between 2005 and 2008. Together they face 27 charges, including 20 of rape. On Tuesday, Leeds Crown Court heard the four victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were "extremely vulnerable ... easy targets for abuse". © Provided by Oath Inc. General view of the Galpharm (formerly McAlpine) Stadium, home of Huddersfield Town FC.

Sexual predators are increasingly grooming children online using social media platforms. The number of grooming cases has increased by 36 Tony Stower, the head of child safety online at the NSPCC, said children are facing unprecedented risk while waiting for the law to be introduced.

Child grooming is befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child , and sometimes the family, to lower the child 's inhibitions with the objective of sexual abuse.

Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law © Other Lorin LaFave's son Breck Bednar was murdered after being groomed online

Sexual predators are increasingly grooming children online using social media platforms.

The number of grooming cases has increased by 36% since last year, according to a report by the NSPCC, with at least 70% carried out on the likes of Instagram and Facebook.

The report by the NSPCC shows 34% of the sexual grooming offences involve Instagram - more than any other online platform and up from a fifth of cases the previous year.

Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law © Getty Groomers use social media to access children before moving them to encrypted platforms

And 20% of the children targeted were under 12 years old. Some were just pre-school age.

Thousands Of Vulnerable Children Becoming 'Magnets' For Drug Gangs, Warn MPs

Thousands Of Vulnerable Children Becoming 'Magnets' For Drug Gangs, Warn MPs Thousands of vulnerable children are becoming “magnets” for drug gangs and paedophiles because they are being placed in children’s homes up to 100 miles from where they grew up, MPs have warned. A report published today said local councils were “unwittingly” becoming recruiting sergeants for so-called county lines gangs which export drugs from big cities to smaller towns and rural areas of the country. The inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults was told too many children were being isolated from friends, family and social workers.

(CNN) More children are being groomed on Instagram than on other social media platforms, new figures suggest, leading to calls for tech companies "We cannot wait for the next tragedy before tech companies are made to act. It is hugely concerning to see the sharp spike in grooming offences on

The children 's charity is calling for new laws to force social media firms to do more to protect children . "These figures are overwhelming evidence that keeping children safe cannot be left to social networks. We cannot wait for the next tragedy before tech companies are made to act," he said.

In April, the government launched an online harms white paper which would introduce independent regulation of social networks, with tough sanctions if they fail to keep children safe on their platforms.

Tony Stower, the head of child safety online at the NSPCC, said children are facing unprecedented risk while waiting for the law to be introduced.

"These sites allow groomers to have access to large numbers of children and then move them to encrypted platforms where law enforcement can't take action.

"The companies aren't stepping up to the plate. That's why it's so important that government brings in legislation as quickly as possible after the Queen's Speech."

Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law © Sky News Screen Grab Lorin LaFave says she wants the community to come together to stop predators

Lorin LaFave's son Breck Bednar was murdered five years ago by someone he had considered a good friend.

Survey reveals more than 40% of children are talking to strangers online

Survey reveals more than 40% of children are talking to strangers online Survey reveals more than 40% of children are talking to strangers online . A NEW SURVEY of almost 4,000 children has found that 43% of those aged between eight and 13-years-old are talking to people they have never met in real life on social media and gaming platforms. CyberSafe Ireland surveyed 3,867 children and found that 92% of them owned their own smart device and were active online. It found that 43% of those surveyed were speaking to strangers online, with a third of them speaking to strangers every day or at least once a week.

‘Off-rolling’ difficult students to boost exam results is fuelling gang violence, says children ’s czar.

Children at risk of online grooming should be sent automatic alerts as part of the government's A "staggering" 1,316 offences were recorded in the first six months of a new child grooming law being The NSPCC, which campaigned to bring in the new legislation, has criticised social media

Breck, 14, met the man gaming online with friends but it turned out they knew nothing about him.

"Everyone online is a stranger," she said.

"It doesn't mean they're all bad... It means we don't know who they are and Breck hadn't had those lessons. He hadn't had lessons about grooming or exploitation."

His killer, Lewis Daynes, aged 19 at the time, lured Breck to his home and murdered him before calling Essex Police to tell them. He will spend at least 25 years in prison for his crime.

In the meantime, Ms LaFave is on a mission to educate young people on how to keep safe online after setting up The Breck Foundation just two weeks after his death.

She said: "As the police investigation unfolded there were dozens of people, including myself, who could have done something different if only they were educated and empowered to understand the signs of grooming and to report and act on it.

Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law © PA Lorin LaFave is trying to educate young people on how to keep safe online

"I want together, collectively, for us as a community to stop these people in their tracks."

Top cop: UK risks 'Orwellian, omniscient police state'

Top cop: UK risks 'Orwellian, omniscient police state' The UK risks becoming a "ghastly, Orwellian, omniscient police state", according to London's top police officer. Cressida Dick, Commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police Service, called on law enforcement to confront ethical dilemmas posed by data, robotics and artificial intelligence. She told an audience at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, that data is vital, but only to help humans "to make better decisions". In comments reported by The Sydney Morning Herald, Ms Dick said: "We're now tiptoeing into a world of robotics, AI and machine learning... the next step might be predictive policing.

Children at risk of online grooming should be sent automatic alerts as part of the government's A "staggering" 1,316 offences were recorded in the first six months of a new child grooming law being The NSPCC, which campaigned to bring in the new legislation, has criticised social media

CHILDREN AT RISK is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that drives change for children through research, education, and influencing public policy. Founded in 1989 in Houston, Texas and with an office opened in North Texas in 2011

The NSPCC wants young people's accounts to default to the highest privacy settings, with location information off, contact details private and livestreaming limited to people they know.

Facebook, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, said in a statement: "There is no place for grooming or child exploitation on our platforms and we use technology to proactively find and quickly remove it.

Related: Biggest news stories of 2019 (Photos)

Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law
Children at risk waiting for social media grooming law

"We also investigate reports from the community with a content and security team of over 30,000 people who respond to reports 24/7."

A government spokesman said: "We have taken strong action to tackle this vile abuse, from developing AI tools to identify and block grooming conversations to our online harms white paper, which will place a legal duty of care on social media companies to protect their users."

But the reality is, the predators keep finding ways to prey on their next victim. The best hope is preparing those children to spot it.

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Government to put pressure on social media companies over online safety.
Minister Richard Bruton said that new legislation will be introduced to regulate social media companies.

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