West Yorkshire Police in online grooming warning

campaign advert The campaign uses social media messages featuring an "internet troll"

Related Stories

A campaign aimed at protecting young people from grooming by paedophiles using social media has been launched by West Yorkshire Police.

Strong imagery is used to warn youngsters that their online "friends" may be adults posing as children.

The force said the number of sexual offences against children involving social media had risen from 14 in 2010 to 60 in 2013.

Messages will be posted on social media sites as part of the campaign.

An animated image shows a young person talking online to someone who they believe to be their own age.

But the picture morphs into an internet troll, representing an individual pretending to be someone else with the intention of online grooming.

Adverts have been targeted at both boys and girls.

The campaign is supported by the county's local authorities and safeguarding children boards.

'Sexual predators'

Jane Held, chair of the Leeds Safeguarding Children Board, said the initiative was timed to coincide with the school holidays.

"We know that children and young people will be spending more time online, chatting to friends and potentially meeting new people," she said.

"Unfortunately that also means that there is a greater risk of them becoming targets for online sexual predators."

Det Ch Insp Sue Jenkinson said the danger is when young people arrange to meet with their online friends.

She said: "They might come across as being a friend. They might send pictures of them purporting to be a young person of the same age as them, but in actual fact they are a sexual predator who wants to befriend them for intentions of sexual abuse or assault.

"It then leads potentially to them meeting outside and that's when the danger starts."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Leeds & West Yorkshire



20 °C 14 °C

BBC Local Live

    news on the hour 08:59: Clive Settle Journalist, BBC Radio Leeds

    Five Muslim leaders from West Yorkshire are among 100 who have issued an appeal for the release of volunteer driver Alan Henning captured by extremists in Syria.

    Writing to The Independent, they say there's nothing in the Koran or Islamic tradition excusing violence of that kind.

    Listen live to the 09:00 bulletin for more.

    top headlines
    Driest September for 50 years 08:49: Paul Hudson Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

    Figures released by the Met Office have confirmed how exceptionally dry the first half of September has been.


    With high pressure dominating for virtually the whole of the month so far, rainfall across the UK has totalled just 6.7mm.

    This makes it the driest first half of September since records began in 1960 and is just 7% of the monthly average of 96mm.

    Tribute to missing Isaac 08:38: Richard Edwards Reporter, BBC Radio Leeds

    The family and friends of missing Kirkburton schoolboy Isaac Nash will hold a fundraiser in his memory later today.

    Isaac Nash

    Isaac's family are trying to raise £50,000 to build a skate park in tribute to the 12-year-old who's not been seen since he was swept away while paddling off Anglesey last month.

    The fundraiser will be held at The Old Canteen in Shelley from 20:00, and will include live bands and an auction.

    Merrion Centre revamp in final phase 08:30: Yorkshire Evening Post
    Accident causes M-way delays 08:21:

    BBC Travel reports: A lane is blocked and there's queuing traffic on the M62 eastbound between J25, A644 (Brighouse) and J26, M606 (Chain Bar), because of an accident involving car and lorry.

    Motorists are being warned to expect big delays in the area.

    Sunny spells and feeling warm 08:11: Kay Crewdson Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

    It'll be another dull, misty and damp start.

    The day will gradually brighten with some sunny spells developing.

    It'll fell warm with afternoon highs around 21C (70F).

    Good morning 08:00: Martin Coldrick BBC Local Live

    Hello and welcome to BBC Local Live on Thursday.

    I'm here until 18:00 and will bring you all the latest news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the county.

    Remember, you can also send your news, pictures and comments to leeds.locallive@bbc.co.uk.



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.