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Children in Cornwall contacted by dangerous social media 'game'

Children in Cornwall contacted by dangerous social media 'game'

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 6:01am 22nd July 2020. (Updated at 6:06am 22nd July 2020)

A fresh warning has gone out about a dangerous so-called 'game' on social media, as children in Cornwall receive messages.

The 'Blue Whale Challenge' encourages youngsters to self harm and even take their own lives.

Falmouth School shared a warning about it doing the rounds on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram.

Now Bodmin College has shared a warning too, saying children in the Camelford area have been contacted with messages.

Police say at least two young people have received messages and one from north Cornwall has been spoken to, who acted very responsibly.

Children are being urged not to respond to or engage with any such messages and parents are asked to talk to their kids about the dangers.

Awareness is also being raised in schools.

"Police in Cornwall are investigating reports that at least two young people have received a ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ message.

"One young person in North Cornwall has been spoken to by police and was found to have acted extremely responsibly, and had not been tempted to participate.

"We are aware of at least one other young person in Cornwall having received a similar challenge message. 

"The police are investigating the source of the messages and working with all relevant partner agencies to raise awareness within schools in the area. 

"Young people are urged not to respond or engage in any way with such messages on social media. 

"Parents are asked to talk to their children about the dangers and to ask them not to open any messages or challenges of this kind."

Devon and Cornwall Police

Please report any similar incidents to police via 101@dc.police.uk or telephone 101.

For further advice: https://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/advice/parenting/protecting-your-child-online/

"Last week we shared information about a dangerous social media 'trend' called The Blue Whale Challenge. The challenges are given online or through text messages, instant messages or posts being circulated on TikTok and Instagram.

"We have received another update from the Police to say that messages are being sent to youths/vulnerable people in the Camelford area requesting their personal information and then different challenges are set over the course of 50 days.

"The internet is a great way for children and young people to stay in touch with their friends over the summer, but it can bring risks. Now more than ever it’s important to talk to your child about staying safe online and about the apps and sites they’re using.

"It's vital that we all communicate and share information about this online threat. If you believe that any child is at risk of harm, contact the police by calling on 101 or 999."

Bodmin College

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