Child abuse: Could tech devices be exposing children to grooming?

Published:  Sun 20 Feb 2022

Young children are now more exposed to being groomed online due to a reliance on tech devices in lockdown, a charity has claimed.

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) found in 2021 child-uploaded content was up 374% on 2019.

It said material uploaded by seven to 10-year-olds had increased threefold.

Barnardo's Cymru warned children had become more trusting online because of home schooling and socialising over the internet during the pandemic.

The Welsh government said it was "committed to keeping children and young people safe".

Grooming is when someone builds a relationship, trust and emotional connection with a person so they can manipulate, exploit and abuse them.

Sharron Wareham, from Barnardo's Cymru, said: "Grooming has been historically presented as some kind of linear process, but what we know from working with lots and lots of children is that it's not actually the case."

Read more on BBC News

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