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Police investigating inappropriate online behaviour

Avon and Somerset Police have had four reports of schoolboys being contacted online by someone using the profile of a similarly-aged girl. The messages contained inappropriate sexual references. Statements have been taken and the matter is being looked into by detectives.

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School boys asked to share images of themselves online

Messages sent to school boys contained inappropriate sexual references Credit: PA: Jens Kalaene

Avon and Somerset Police are investigating after they had four reports of schoolboys being contacted online by someone using the profile of a similarly-aged girl.

It’s understood the boys, all from North Somerset, were contacted through Facebook between Tuesday 21 April and Friday 24 April.

The messages contained inappropriate sexual references, including an image of a semi-clothed girl, and the boys were asked to share images of themselves.

Officers were alerted by the 12-year-olds’ concerned parents on Saturday 25 April.

This is a very early stage in our enquiries. Statements have been taken and the matter is being looked into by detectives.

Officers from the neighbourhood team are contacting local schools asking them to talk to children about online safety and we will be happy to visit any schools where there are particular concerns.

– Mark Raby,Neighbourhood Sergeant

The police have issued advice for parents about online safety here:

https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/newsroom/features/online-safety,-a-guide-for-parents/

https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/newsroom/features/are-you-your-children-shareaware/

Anyone whose children have been sent similar messages is being asked to contact police.

The key online safety messages for children are:

  • Don’t make friends online with someone you don’t know in real life
  • Don’t give out personal information or contact details online
  • Don’t tell people where you are going to be
  • Never arrange to meet in person someone you have met online
  • If you’re worried by something you’ve seen online, tell a parent, carer or teacher – or you can call ChildLine on 0800 1111

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