Published On: Wed, Jul 30th, 2014 on 11:37 am

Hard-hitting web safety campaign launched in West Yorkshire

Know The Signs Child Sexual Exploitation Campaign

A new campaign has been launched to make young people aware of the risks behind chat rooms and interactive platforms.

It forms as part of an ongoing initiative named ‘Know the Signs,’ which aims to highlight child sexual exploitation and encourage victims to report it.

Police, local authorities and children’s safeguarding boards across the county have come together to produce a series of messages which highlight the dangers.

Online posts will be promoted which feature an image of two teenagers in an online conversation.

The graphic then reveals that one of them is actually a sexual predator and not the person they are purporting to be.

Offenders often use false accounts, fake photos, and names to deceive their victims, encouraging them to meet with the intention of committing a sexual offence.

Assistant Chief Constable Geoff Dodd of West Yorkshire Police, said: “Chat forums and interactive platforms in particular, present risks which make them susceptible to this type of crime.

“Some young people engage with strangers online, not knowing who they are talking to, their age or their intentions. Sexual predators use online forums to groom their victims and it is imperative that our young people understand these dangers.

“Parents continue to play a key role, and we would encourage them to take an interest in what their children are doing online and who they are speaking to.”

Some of the county’s leading shopping centres will be displaying the graphics on electronic screens.

Police officers and PCSOs will also be speaking to young people in cities and towns.

To find out more about the campaign, please visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk/who-r-u-talking-2.

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