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 Following dramatic Rise in Childline use, NSPCC Reminds All the Internet Can be a Playground for Paedophiles

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Date posted: 19/09/2016

The United Kingdom (UK) based charity NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) has issued a warning that social areas on the internet can be a playground for paedophiles and others of malicious intent, following a sharp rise in the number of children callingtheir Childline advice hotline in fear, as that they have come into contact with an individual or individuals online that make them feel unsafe.

Counselling sessions for young people worried about online sexual abuse rose 24% to 3,716 in 2015-16.

Childline's figures also showed that:

* Most children contacting the helpline were aged between 12 and 15
* More than half were girls
* One in eight counselling sessions in the year to March 2016 related specifically to grooming - up 21% on the previous year

"Most of us talk to people online and it's a great way to stay connected and make new friends," said NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless.

"But it can be a playground for paedophiles, exposing young people to groomers who trawl social networks and online game forums exploiting any vulnerabilities they may find."

Mr Wanless he said that he hoped that by putting the issue into the spotlight, more people would feel able to speak up if they were worried or scared by a situation or relationship.

Childline founder Esther Rantzen said the internet had brought many positive changes but added: "It has also brought dangers and online grooming is a real risk."

See the full Story via external site: www.bbc.co.uk

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