Leicester

Kayleigh Haywood: Family calls for new social media law

Kayleigh Haywood Image copyright Family issue
Image caption Kayleigh Haywood went missing after being dropped off outside Ibstock Community College

The family of teenager Kayleigh Haywood have called for new internet laws following her death last month.

The 15-year-old, from Measham, Leicestershire, was discovered with head and facial injuries on 18 November after a police hunt.

Her aunt Tracey Haywood said she wants to set up a charity to campaign for a new law to ban under-16s from opening social media accounts.

Ms Haywood said she had concerns about the teenager's online activity.

Image caption Kayleigh's aunt Tracey Haywood said social media websites need to limit its members to over 16s

Ms Haywood, from Kegworth, Leicestershire, said the charity, which would be called Kayleigh's Kause, would campaign to increase the minimum age for use of social media websites to 16.

Ms Haywood said she wants site operators to request "some sort of legal document; like a passport, driver's licence" to prove a child's age, even if it is an account held with parental knowledge.

"The family want some laws passed because it has absolutely torn us apart," she said.

"I'm willing to go worldwide with this and I won't stop... I'll make it my life's work.

"If I could change places with Kayleigh I would."

Facebook, which requires users to be at least 13 to create an account, said it has spent 10 years building powerful reporting tools and educational resources to help children online.

It added that it provides extensive safety and privacy controls based on ages provided.

Ms Haywood added that Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire, was "looking into it" and that David Cameron "knows about the situation and was going to look into it himself".

More than 6,700 people have signed an online petition backing her campaign for the move.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Kayleigh was found near a lake after going missing

Kayleigh was last seen after being dropped off outside Ibstock Community College on 13 November.

Her body was later found in undergrowth near Ibstock on 18 November.

Ms Haywood said Kayleigh's family are "absolutely heartbroken".

She added: "Kayleigh was such a big part of family life. "[Kayleigh was] bubbly, funny, she could laugh at her own jokes."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Flowers were left outside St Laurence Church in Measham, where a vigil was held for Kayleigh Haywood

Stephen Beadman, 28, from Ibstock, has been charged with the rape and murder of the schoolgirl. Luke Harlow, 27, also from Ibstock, is charged with grooming and two counts of sexual activity with a child.

More on this story