As many as one in five children who use chatrooms on the internet
report that they have been approached by paedophiles online.
So the new public awareness campaign launched this week by the Home
Office task force on child protection on the internet is to be
welcomed. Shame it wasn’t done earlier as there is a sense that
this problem is already hurtling out of control.
A report from children’s charity NCH highlights how the explosion
of child pornography on the internet may be fuelling sexual abuse
of young people.
What’s clear is that both parents and children need hard facts so
they know what they are up against now the net has become a
cruising ground for those who want to prey on children.
The whole issue of child protection and the internet needs to move
higher up the agenda. The internet, chatrooms and mobile phones
with web access are all here to stay and our children are using
them. The relevant authorities – particularly the police who seem
to be struggling – urgently need more resources to make sure child
protection measures keep pace with internet technology.