Protecting youngsters from online grooming

17th November 2009.' feature with councillors Olivia Rowley(red top) , Denise Jeffery and Maureen Cummings(glasses) about their early days on the campaign trail for Retro.
17th November 2009.' feature with councillors Olivia Rowley(red top) , Denise Jeffery and Maureen Cummings(glasses) about their early days on the campaign trail for Retro.
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An internet campaign to help young people protect themselves against online grooming and sexual exploitation has been started.

The ‘Who are You Really Talking To?’ campaign highlights the potential dangers young people face in a new video.

It shows an older sexual predator who pretends to be much younger in an online chat with a real teenager.

The initiative is part of the ongoing ‘Know the Signs’ project, which highlights the issue of child sexual exploitation and encourages victims to report it. It is a joint project between Wakefield Council, the Wakefield and District Safeguarding Children Board and West Yorkshire Police.

A number of tips have been issued to help young people stay safe, including not giving out addresses or phone numbers or arranging to meet people in person and talking to a adult about any concerns. Parents should monitor what their child does online and implement parental controls.

Coun Olivia Rowley said: “This video is important as it reminds young people there are manipulative predators out there who are convincing and good at concealing their real identities. This video is all about giving young people information to avoid putting themselves at risk.”

Anyone who is worried about online grooming should call 101. Visit www.wfyouth.co.uk/who-r-u-talking-2 to view the video.