Here are the facts:
- An offender makes contact with a young person. This can happen anywhere online, including on a social network, in a chatroom, in a game or even on their mobile
- The offender begins a conversation and tricks the young person into sending them an indecent picture, appearing naked or performing sexual acts on webcam. They trick them in a variety of ways including: pretending to be a girl or boy of the same age, pretending to be someone the child knows, flirting with them or sending them sexual pictures or videos
- The offender records the webcam footage. They then threaten to share the video with the young person’s friends or family if they don’t perform more sexual acts. Some young people have been threatened for money or told to hurt themselves
A recent news article on the BBC news site details how one such predator used these methods to abuse more than 15 young boys and girls, getting them to perform illicit acts for his own twisted entertainment. The man, Robert Hunter, has recently been jailed for 14 years.
The NSPCC have set up a dedicated helpline for young people suffering this type of crime, which will be open 24/7 throughout September and October 2013.
- NSPCC helpline: 0800 328 0904
- Young people can also call Childline on 0800 1111
- And access help through MEIC on freephone 080880 23456
- CEOP’s Website