Cumbria's PCC encourages parents to look out for signs of online grooming

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, is encouraging parents to look out for signs of online grooming during lockdown.

McCall says children are spending more time online during the coronavirus pandemic, making them more vulnerable to being groomed by predators. He said: “Criminals are adapting with the changes in technology and using it to their advantage to enter homes and bank accounts without leaving the comfort of their home – we all need to be more vigilant about who and what we trust online.

“For younger children, I would also recommend parents check their child’s online activity to understand what they are accessing and ensuring they are on child friendly sites and apps."

Detective Inspector Ian Harwood, added: “One important area to take particular care with is the use of chat rooms and instant messaging. It is vital we help children to understand the importance of knowing that they should only chat with others they definitely know. Strangers met online may not be who they say they are."

  • If you know a stranger is contacting your child online or know of someone contacting underage children you can report it to 101 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.