A new campaign, launched today by the National Crime Agency UK and the National Police Chief's Council, highlights the increased use of live streaming by online sex offenders and stresses the urgent need to educate children about the risks associated with this new threat.
During a recent week of intensification to tackle child sexual exploitation and abuse, police and National Crime Agency operations across the UK safeguarded 245 children and arrested 192 people, 18 of whom were in a position of trust. 30% of those cases involved some of the highest harm offences including live streaming, blackmail and grooming.
The National Crime Agency recently conducted a survey: 84% of parent respondents said they were alert to the potential dangers their children face online. Child protection experts are warning that knowledge goes out-of-date more quickly than many people realise because the online environment is now changing so quickly.
The survey also showed that while the majority of parents speak to their children regularly, over 30% had not spoken to their children about online safety in the last month. Almost 58% are not sure if they have adequate online security.
A short and powerful animation narrated by the fictional Sam, an adult who goes online to abuse children, has been released along with the hashtag #WhoIsSam to show how offenders attempt to build relationships with young people online.
Coinciding with the campaign, a report led by the University of Southampton provides guidance for concerns and makes recommendations for specific age groups.
Further details on child sexual exploitation including useful resources and organisations are available on our website.