Police campaign to tackle sex chatline dangers

YOUTH groups in Axbridge and Wedmore will be targeted by police in a bid to curb paedophiles chatting to children on the internet. Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in Cheddar attended a special police conference as part of an initiative to encou

YOUTH groups in Axbridge and Wedmore will be targeted by police in a bid to curb paedophiles chatting to children on the internet. Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in Cheddar attended a special police conference as part of an initiative to encourage parents and children to learn together, and improve internet safety in the home. Sgt Peter Yensen, of Cheddar police, said: "Obviously I cannot name names in specific cases, but I have had experience of this in our area. A 12-year-old girl had been speaking to someone in a chatroom who claimed to be of the same age. When he asked to meet her she got suspicious and asked him to send a photo. He turned out to be 28 years old."It's scary how easy it is for them to get away with it, and policing the internet is a virtually impossible task."Our PCSOs are keen to back the new campaign, which is called Somerset Cyber-Safe Family Learning. We are hoping to work closely with youth groups in the area, especially those that use internet cafes such as Wedmore and the centre planned for Axbridge. Because it is such a difficult thing to monitor, we need to educate youngsters about the dangers of internet paedophiles. "Sometimes they may think it's grown up to start talking about sex and give out personal information. Children want to be teenagers and teenagers want to be adults, but this is a serious issue, and could ultimately put a child in great danger." Sgt Yensen also pointed out that sex offenders live in every part of the country, and will seek out targets wherever they can. He added: "All sex offenders are monitored carefully by the police. In America it is legal to let members of the public know where they live, their hobbies and their job status. If we had those sorts of laws here there would be anarchy.


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