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  1. ITV Report

Research released to 'help prevent' online grooming

NSPCC Wales and Swansea University combine to 'tackle online grooming' Credit: PA

New anti-grooming advice has been made available to social workers and other professionals working with children in Swansea, Cardiff, Prestatyn and North West England.

The activity pack is based on research from NSPCC and Swansea University to raise awareness of how offenders groom children online, to prevent it from happening.

Looking at the language used in numerous chat logs from convicted paedophiles who groomed their victims online, it was revelled online grooming can happen very fast, sometimes within hours. In one case it took less than 20 minutes to persuade a child to meet in real life.

12,248
counselling sessions about online safety were provided to children in 2016/17 in the UK by NSPCC

NSPCC Wales has been working with Swansea University since January on the material. They have also consulted with young people to create the TIME acronym that uses terminology they can relate to and remember.

The TIME acronym stands for:

  • Trust: Groomers say things to develop ‘dodgy trust’ and build a relationship.
  • Isolate: Groomers make you feel separate (both physically and mentally) from people in your life.
  • Measure: Groomers say things to test how strong their relationship with you is.
  • Enjoy: Groomers get off on talking about sexual and romantic things.

Ruth Mullineux, project lead with NSPCC Cymru / Wales, said:

Online safety is a major 21st century child protection issue and it’s vital that we carry out research into the methods used to target children online, so we can act.

Education is incredibly important in protecting the next generation from harm.

– NSPCC Cymru / Wales, Ruth Mullineux

Carl Sargeant AM, Cabinet Member for Children and Communities, said:

Keeping our children safe is a key priority and we all have a role to play in educating them on how to be safe online.

The resource being launched today is just one example of the innovative work Swansea University is developing with its partners, including the NSCPCC, which is doing excellent work to protect children through the development of safeguarding knowledge, information and resources.

– Cabinet Member for Children and Communities, Carl Sargeant AM,

Professor Richard B. Davies, Vice Chancellor of Swansea University added:

By applying our research strengths to real-world challenges and by working with appropriate external bodies, we are committed at Swansea University to help make the world a better place.

– Swansea University Vice Chancellor, Professor Richard B. Davies

The project has been funded by the Cherish Digital Economy Centre (Cherish-De). Professor Matt Jones, Principle Investigator of the organisation said:

This work exemplifies what we strive to achieve: innovations that enable people - in this case children and young adults - to thrive and flourish in and through digital interactions rather than be overwhelmed, harmed or alienated by it.

I'm delighted with the outcome of the project and look forward to seeing its positive impact across the UK.

– CHERISH-DE, Professor Matt Jones