Warning after Sussex girl forced to perform web sex act

Parents and children in Sussex are being warned to be aware of webcam chat sites after a 14-year-old girl was coerced into performing a sex act.

The girl from Worthing began chatting to a man online who then threatened to upload camera footage on the internet if she did not do what he wanted.

Sussex Police said some chat sites did not have administrators and users "did not know who they were talking to".

They have warned parents to be aware of what their children were doing online.

'Child-friendly software'

Det Con Paul Tonks said: "There are now sites that allow people to log on for free and only have to register a temporary username. Then there are literally thousands of webcams broadcasting all manner of activity from around the world.

"Such sites, which do not have many regulations, are increasingly popular with teenagers.

"It is very easy to link to a chat site that skirts around the criteria that parents expect to be in place in their child-friendly software.

"We are warning the public, particularly young people, about the dangers of such sites because you just don't know who you are talking to."

Sussex Police said it had not been able to track down the identity of the man who had threatened the Worthing girl.

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) suggests parents talk to their child about their online activities, that children only meet an internet friend in person if they are accompanied by a trusted adult and just chat and webcam with existing friends.

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