Cartoon warns children about grooming

NCA Cartoon

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A series of animations designed to inform children as young as four about online grooming has been launched by the National Crime Agency.

The series called Jessie & Friends is targeted at children aged four to seven, and follows three animated children who explore online videos and social media.

The cartoon establishes scenarios that enable children to identify unhealthy behaviours online, with a view to protecting them from sexual abuse and other threats.



Resource packs including a story book for each episode are currently being made available for schools and parents.

Safety expert at Get Safe Online, Sarah Martinez, told talkRADIO: "We have to arm our children with the wherewithal to protect themselves.

"We wouldn't expect them to walk home from school without first telling them how to cross the road safely."


'A reality of the world we live in'

She added: "Those kind of things we don't want to think about, but we have to. It's a reality of the world we live in."

Referrals to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the US-based body to which the tech industry reports online child sexual abuse material, have soared in recent years.

Globally, the number stood at 18.4 million in 2018, with more than 113,000 in the UK, as increasing levels of sophistication, eliciting of photos and blackmailing is used by offenders.