Young people will gain extra education and information to the danger of online grooming through a new video which warns of the tricks used by paedophiles to target victims.
The ‘Who Are You Really Talking To?‘ video launched on Wednesday last week. It makes it clear just how easy it is for young victims to be conned by predators posing as teenagers to lure them into sexual exploitation.
The video, which was filmed with actors, shows a teenage girl swapping messages with who she thinks is a teenage boy, who asks her to meet. In reality he is an older man hiding behind a false profile which he uses to attract youngsters.
A ‘Who Are You Really Talking To?’ advertising campaign has been ongoing throughout the summer to spread awareness of this form of child sexual exploitation among both potential victims and also parents. Messages have been displayed on electronic screens in shopping centres and officers have also been speaking to young people in towns and cities. Police and partners, including local authorities, will continue to release web, facebook and twitter posts to promote the issue.
Detective Chief Inspector Sue Jenkinson, of West Yorkshire Police, said the new video was just one part of wide ranging activity to tackle CSE. She said: “This new video really spells out how convincing and manipulative predators can be in luring victims into talking to them online and in concealing their real identities, and I want to thank everyone involved in helping create it.
“People can easily set up fake accounts with fake photos to attract victims and the key message we would encourage young people to remember is never to meet up with someone you’ve only met on line, who pushes for a meeting”
She encouraged people to ask themselves who they are really talking to and avoid putting themselves at risk, at any cost.
She added: “We have a number of criminal investigations ongoing into CSE in West Yorkshire as well as dedicated awareness campaigns taking place in schools and in communities.
“Giving both young people and parents the information about the tactics that predators use and the signs of potential grooming is vital in helping us address and tackle the issue within West Yorkshire.
Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner said: “This new video is the latest step in raising awareness of the dangers faced by young people online and reaffirms my and West Yorkshire Police’s continued commitment in making sure we are doing everything we can to safeguard children and young people from child sexual exploitation.
“Protecting our communities from this insidious crime is one of the top priorities in my refreshed Police and Crime Plan and I fully support this continued campaign which gives young people the tools to make informed decisions and identify the tell-tale signs to remain safe and feeling safe. I would recommend all young people and parents take the time to view this short video in helping them to be aware of the dangers.”
If you would like more information on the signs of CSE you can visit the dedicated web page at http://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/cse
Also If you have been subject to child sexual exploitation, know somebody who has, or have information about those involved in this crime, please contact the non-emergency number 101 or Crime stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
The clip can be accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8VDqP1ks-ek#t=0. It is the latest part of the ‘Know The Signs’ campaign which highlights the issues of child sexual exploitation and encourages victims to report it.