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Act Now: Millions of parents unaware their children could be groomed online

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Social media is a powerful tool and used in the right way is a power for good. But we must warn you online grooming is happening and sexual predators are targeting your children online.

One too many children has already died this year as a result of being groomed online and every other day we are hearing reports where children have been contacted on popular social media sites arranged to meet someone and gone missing.

We need to be aware of what our teenagers are doing on social media and Police Hour have put together some tips and advice for parents.

1. Have open conversations with your children

Parents should be able to sit down with their children and learn about technology together. Once your child is on social media you need a plan in place to ensure monitoring. Educating them how to behave safely. Make sure you are aware of which mobile applications they have within their phones as these are the apps that online groomers could be targeting, especially those with messaging services built in.

2. Are your children old enough

You may not be aware but social media has an underage limit for registration to social networking sites. Children must be aged 13 on most social media sites this includes Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

With the dangers of online grooming current, we would advise you not to allow any of your children under the age of 13 access to social media.

3. Information is not that easy to remove

Everything published online follows a digital footprint and it will track your youngster’s life. and it will build up that person reputation and could have a massive impact on future jobs. employers do check this information.

And once that information has been put out there it is impossible to remove even if the original post has been deleted the photos and messages can still be visible online.

5. Don’t share phone numbers

Lots of youngsters have their mobile number visible to the public along with addresses and emails. these are prime targets for online groomers looking for sexual activity with your 13 or 14-year-old son or daughter.

Make sure you check your child’s facebook profiles to see exactly what information they have made public.

6. Don’t accept messages or friend requests from predators

Don’t accept message requests or friend requests from people you don’t know it’s very easy for groomers to take your children in and then begin meeting with them in a real place.  Parents should remind their children not to interact inappropriately with people they do not know, and

Parents should be aware of who your children are interacting with online and have a relationship with them that they’d not be ashamed to tell you if someone interacting inappropriately with them online with people they do not know.

More than often the online groomer is also known to the family already or friends network. It is always important if they are arranging to meet with someone they have met online they meet them with an adult.

Online grooming will never happen to my children

Are you sure? we’d highly recommend you take the steps we have advised as you never believe it will happen to your children.

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Man hunt as women attacked by stranger in London believed to be suffering mental health crisis

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Police urgently want to speak to Joe Xuereb who is wanted after a stranger attacked two women, they are both fighting for their life.

Joe Xuereb must not be approached he is highly dangerous, after an unprovoked random attack on two women in the street.

The two women are fighting for their lives after being attacked in the street by a stranger, and Joe Xuereb is currently a suspect and wanted by police in relation to the incident.

Xuereb is believed to have been suffering from serious mental health issues and members of the public should not approach him he is aged 27 and from Greenwich, southeast London.

The women were targeted in a “horrific” attack in Adderley Gardens in Greenwich on Sunday.

Officers were called at 12.10pm to find the victims, aged 30 and 64, suffering from injuries “consistent with a violent assault”.

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Dangerous prisoner fails to return after attending family funeral

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Police are appealing for help in tracing a Hollesley Bay prisoner who has absconded.

34-year-old Aaron Johnson was reported missing to police at 11.15pm  last night, Friday 17 August,.

Johnson had been granted a special purpose temporary licence to attend a funeral yesterday but failed to return to the prison as arranged. He was last seen in West London.

Johnson is serving a 9 year sentence for robbery, wounding and assault.

He is described as black, 6 feet tall, of medium build, and had a beard. He was wearing a black jacket,  blue jeans, white t-shirt and trainers.

Members of the public are advised not to approach him.

Anyone who believes they may have seen Aaron Johnson or who has any information regarding his whereabouts, is asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101 quoting CAD 480 of 17 August.

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Scott Findlay subjected young mother to harrowing sex attack & punched her while she cradled 6-week-old baby

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A MAN who raped a young mother and repeatedly punched her as she cradled a six-week-old baby in her arms has been jailed.

Scott Findlay subjected his victim to a “prolonged and harrowing” attack in front of her two young children.

Today, at York Crown Court, Judge Simon Hickey sent the 27-year-old, from Ferryhill, in County Durham, to prison for 15 years for offences including rape, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and threats to kill.

The court heard that the victim pleaded with Findlay, who was armed with a kitchen knife, for her children to be prevented from seeing the attack.

Speaking after sentencing, Detective Constable Katrina Meisuria, of Durham Constabulary’s Safeguarding Unit, praised the victim for her courage in giving evidence.

She said: “Scott Findlay subjected his victim to a prolonged, harrowing and violent attack in front of her two young children.

“It took great bravery by the victim to provide evidence at court reliving those events again.

“There is no doubt these crimes have had a life-changing effect on the victim and her children, but the conviction will provide the family with the opportunity to move forward”.

In a statement released through the police, the victim said: “This has been an extremely difficult time for me and my family.

“The incidents occurred only six weeks after the birth of my daughter who was in my arms as Scott Finlay repeatedly punched me about the head and my seven-year-old looked on in terror begging for him to stop hurting his mammy.

“No child should ever have to witness such an attack”.

She added: “My family and I are pleased with the outcome and relieved it is finally over and we can move forward to rebuilding our life”.

After a four-day trial at Durham Crown Court in May, a jury found Findlay guilty of three counts of rape, one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one count of making threats to kill.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and criminal damage.

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