Online child abuse likely to increase in coming months, English police says

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The lockdown could mean a 'greater number of sexual predators online looking to target and groom young people.'

The number of cases involving online abuse and sexual exploitation of children will increase in the coming months due to the impact the COVID-19 lockdown has had on the use of the internet, The Metropolitan Police Service expects.

The police force also said that the statistics showed that 92 children were protected and 68 warrants executed between March 23, when the government announced lockdown measures, to April 23. "The internet can be a great space for young people to connect, socialize and learn but it is also used by offenders as a place to engage with children and commit serious offenses – grooming, abuse, and other serious harm," Detective Superintendent Helen Flanagan said.

Lt. Mike Baute from Florida's Child Predator CyberCrime Unit talked with people on instant messenger to try and track down suspects"Parents can help in tackling this and think about what their children are doing when they are being quiet in their rooms, because that lack of supervision can make them more vulnerable online."

 

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