Health and Wellbeing

Call line report increased concern about online grooming

young hands holding a mobile phone

Posted on: 12 May 2020

Devon’s Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub, the MASH, has seen an increase in the number of calls reporting inappropriate online activity.

The MASH is the way that anyone in Devon can report a concern about a child’s health or welfare.

With schools remaining closed to many young people and social distancing measures restricting socialisation, children may be at increased risk of sexual exploitation, while having limited access to friends and school support.

One safeguarding professional said:

“Just as people are using social media and the internet to stay in touch during lockdown, perpetrators are using technology to groom children, young people and adults now through social media, chat apps and online gaming, intending to meet up with their victims later.

“We want people to be aware of the risks when online, to know how to protect themselves from risk, and to know how to report it if they see it.”

mobile phone in young person's hands

If you are concerned about who your family member or friend might be talking to online visit the Safer Devon Partnership website for advice and guidance.  #Exploitation #SpotTheSigns #SaySomething

To report a concern to the Devon MASH, telephone 0345 155 1071 or email mashsecure@devon.gov.uk and give as much information as you can.

Other helpful information is available on the Devon Children and Families Partnership website, and also via the NSPCC, Childline and the UK Safer Internet Centre.

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