Dozens of children in Warwickshire targeted for grooming

Dozens of children in Warwickskhire were targeted for grooming over an 18-month period, with some as young as eight falling victim.

Wednesday, 13th March 2019, 2:07 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th March 2019, 2:10 pm

Warwickshire Police recorded 48 incidents of sexual communication with a child between April 2017 and September 2018, according to Freedom of Information requests from the NSPCC.

Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram were used in seven out of ten cases where police recorded the method of contact, with 25 victims over the 18 months.

Girls aged between 12 and 15 were the most likely targets, but one in 12 victims were 11 or younger, according to the reports.

The NSPCC has called for tougher measures to tackle grooming, after its investigation found more than 5,000 reports of sexual communication with children across 39 police forces.

The offence, which carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison, was introduced in 2017 to try and capture online-only sexual offenders.

NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said: “These figures are overwhelming evidence that keeping children safe cannot be left to social networks.”