Social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are making it easier for perverts to target children and groom them for sexual purposes.

The NSPCC’s ChildLine emergency number has received 33% more calls in the past year as 3,122 children contacted them for counselling. The charity has warned that predatory adults were using money, gifts and affection to groom, sexually harass and traffic children who were usually unaware they were not communicating with another child their own age.

One young girl told ChildLine: – “I was playing a game online and started talking to someone who asked me to send them rude pictures. They said they were my age and after talking for a while I sent them some pictures, but now they’re blackmailing me and threatening to show everyone if I don’t carry on. I feel really stupid and I’m scared about what will happen”.

ChildLine say girls aged 12 – 15 are most likely to be targeted.

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