NSPCC calls for robust laws to protect children as recorded sexual communication offences rise

NSPCC

  • Total of 82 crimes of Sexual Communication with a Child recorded by PSNI last year.
  • UK Government’s new laws to end Wild West Web must tackle grooming on social media

NSPCC Northern Ireland is calling for new laws to tackle online grooming to be as robust as possible and is demanding an end to the Wild West Web.

The PSNI recorded 82 offences of sexual communication with a child last year (2017/18), an increase on the previous year*, demonstrating the scale of potential grooming in today’s online world.

Where the victim was identified, girls aged between 12 -15 were recorded in the majority of cases.

Following the NSPCC’s  #WildWestWeb campaign, the UK Government recently announced that laws will be brought in to regulate social networks, to keep children safe and prevent harms such as online grooming.

The charity is now campaigning to ensure those laws are sufficiently robust to truly keep children safe. It is calling on the UK Government to:

  • Create mandatory safety rules that social networks  are legally required to follow;
  • Establish an independent regulator to enforce safety laws and fine non-compliant sites
  • Require social media sites to publish annual safety reports;
  • Force platforms to develop technology to detect grooming using algorithms.

It comes ahead of the NSPCC’s annual flagship conference How Safe Are Our Children? which begins on Wednesday June 20th and has the theme Growing Up Online.

Policy manager for NSPCC Northern Ireland, Colin Reid, said: “It is important to remember that every single sexual message sent to a child is abuse, which can leave a lasting impact for years to come.

“Social networks have self-regulated and it’s absolutely clear that children have been harmed as a result. We would urge the UK government to follow through on their promise and introduce safety rules backed up in law and enforced by an independent regulator with fining powers. Social networks must be forced to design extra protections for children into their platforms, including algorithms to detect online grooming to prevent communicating with children from escalating into something even worse.

“We would also urge our local politicians, when we gain a new executive, to think of a robust and workable E-Safety strategy to drive this forward locally. We know that the online world is not easy to regulate, but we cannot be complacent when we are talking about child abuse.”

For more information on our #WildWestWeb campaign, visit www.nspcc.org.uk/wildwestweb

How Safe Are Our Children begins on Wednesday 20 June at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster, London.

Love Belfast
Belfast guide to restaurants, bars, nightclubs, concerts, events, hotels, entertainment, special offers, news, gossip, travel, festivals and culture. http://lovebelfast.co.uk

Related Articles

Staff at Bell & Company to undertake gruelling 48-hour challenge

BELFAST-based debt strategists, Bell & Company, are set to put their staff through their paces with a new fundraising event in aid of NSPCC...

A New Era Of Theatre For Northern Ireland

Theatre lovers in Northern Ireland will be treated to a new era in theatre thanks to innovative and forward thinking company Cahoots NI. Following the...

RUMOUR MILL CREATIVE COMMUNICATIONS NAMED SMALL CONSULTANCY OF THE YEAR

Public relations and digital content agency, Rumour Mill Creative Communications was named Small Consultancy of the Year at this year’s PRCA DARE Awards, along...

Leave a Reply

Stay Connected

81,593FansLike
60,888FollowersFollow
164,553FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Latest Articles

CULTURE NIGHT ONLINE 2020 ANNOUNCES BELFAST HARBOUR AS HEADLINE SPONSOR

Belfast Harbour has been confirmed as headline sponsor of Culture Night Online 2020, which this year, for the first time ever, will be a...

BEANNCHOR GROUP UNVEILS £4M HASLEM HOTEL AT LISBURN SQUARE

~50 new jobs to be created at 45-bedroom property~ The Beannchor Group has today opened its new £4 million development at Lisburn Square, Haslem Hotel, creating 50...

Nicola Coughlan joins Coca-Cola to invite people to enjoy a free Coke to support local bars, restaurants, and cafes across the nation

Coca-Cola is supporting small businesses and encouraging people to visit their locals by offering a free Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar or Diet Coke at...

Get into Retail with The Prince’s Trust and Tesco

The Prince’s Trust and Tesco Get into Retail programme returns to Northern Ireland this autumn, offering work experience and training opportunities to young people...

THE LAST OF THE SUMMER COCKTAILS

THE SEXTON SINGLE MALT SUMMER COCKTAIL RECIPE FEATURE The shadows of Autumn are slowly creeping in that little bit earlier each evening, but this week’s...