The head of a specialist policing unit which helps protect children from online predators is encouraging parents to be more aware of what their children are doing online.
Police are asking parents to learn more about social media platforms and trends. They're also hoping parents will talk to their children about the people they are interacting with online.
The message from the North East Regional Specialist Operations Unit follows similar calls from police forces across the North East and organisations like the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), which have all urged parents to take a greater interest in their children's online activity since the country went into lockdown.
NERSOU is made up of officers from Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland forces. It houses a specialist online unit, which pursues dangerous offenders and helps safeguard victims, as well as tackling other cyber-related crimes.
At a time when children are spending more time online to stay in touch with their friends and classmates, there’s no doubt a small minority of individuals will be trying to take advantage of this.
Anyone with concerns about online child abuse and exploitation can report it confidentiality to their local police force or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555111 or visit https://crimestoppers-uk.org/