The BBC is reporting that recent figures have found a rise in online child abuse and grooming, the NSPCC has been quoted to have called the internet a ‘paedophile playground’.
The warning came as figures showed a rise in children, worried about online abuse and grooming, contacting the charity’s Childline service. Counselling sessions for young people worried about online sexual abuse rose 24% to 3,716 in 2015-16.
The Home Office described it as “a global problem” adding that “the UK is at the forefront of efforts to combat this dreadful crime”.
“Most of us talk to people online and it’s a great way to stay connected and make new friends,” said NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless. “But it can be a playground for paedophiles, exposing young people to groomers who trawl social networks and online game forums exploiting any vulnerabilities they may find.”
Mr Wanless he said that he hoped that by putting the issue into the spotlight, more people would feel able to speak up if they were worried or scared by a situation or relationship.
Childline founder Esther Rantzen said the internet had brought many positive changes but added: “It has also brought dangers and online grooming is a real risk.”
How do you think we should be tackling the rising figures in online child abuse and grooming? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or via Twitter. ~ Meena
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