The BBC is reporting that new figures have shown that more than 150 people in Wales have been reported to police for meeting children following sexual grooming over the last five years.
Dyfed-Powys Police saw the highest number of recorded complaints with 60, while North Wales had the lowest with 26. Almost 60% of the crimes reported from 2011 to 2015 included online grooming.
NSPCC Cymru has called for mandatory online safety lessons in schools from September to teach pupils about the dangers of social media and online grooming. NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said: “Education is the key to teaching children how to use the internet safely so they don’t find themselves at risk of serious harm.”
The Welsh Government said it had an “extensive” e-safety education programme, which included online resources and classroom materials to help pupils “think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly online”.
South Wales Police, Dyfed-Powys and Gwent Police said they worked with schools to educate pupils on issues including grooming, sexual exploitation, the taking and sharing of inappropriate images and staying safe online.
Gwent Police Supt Leanne Brustad said the force gave 1,874 lessons to almost 50,000 pupils in 2014/15, while South Wales Assistant Chief Constable Con Jon Drake said it worked with agencies to ensure those working with young people understood the signs of such abuse.
Do you think we need to teach children about online safety? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie
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