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More Cornish Children Being Sexually Exploited

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11:14am 21st November 2012

Pirate FM has learnt more Cornish children are falling victim to sexual exploitation.

Police have told us it is partly because the internet is making life easier for predators.

But they are also praising youngsters for being brave enough to come forward and report it.

Officials are meeting in Wadebridge on Wednesday to discuss ways of keeping youngsters safe.

It comes as a report warns thousands of children across the country are being raped and abused by gangs every year.

Detective Inspector Simon Snell from Devon and Cornwall Police is part of a specialist unit set up to track down offenders.

He said: "We really don't know the extent of child sexual exploitation because it isn't reported enough. It's more common than we think.

"Cornwall is not unique. It's the same as anywhere else in the country. We seem to have this idylic view of Cornwall as being quiet and peaceful. It is a beautiful place to be. But there is child exploitation happening in Cornwall as there is in Birmingham, as there is in London.

"The effect on children is horrendous. There are some really horrific cases I've dealt with. Certainly in some of the recent operations, some of the children never even took a GCSE. So it really does effect their education, their health and their well being."

 

Three Things to Tell your Children

Experts say there are some simple messages to make sure your children stay safe online:

  •  Explain that personal information (name, address, phone number, school, arrnagements for meeting with friends etc.) should never be given out online to anyone the child doesn't know offline.
  •  Explain that once a picture has been posted online it can be copied and shared with other people if you delete it. That means being careful about the sort of photographs and information that gets put up.
  •  Explain that some people lie online and that it is never too late to tell someone if something happens that makes them feel uncomfortable.

 

11:14am 21st November 2012

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