Child grooming biggest on Instagram - NSPCC report

Instagram

Police received 428 reports about Instagram users between April and September 2018

Friday, March 1, 2019

Police are receiving more reports of children being sexually contacted on Instagram than any other social-media platform, figures show.

Some 5,161 reports of sexual communication with a child were made in 18 months with Instagram used in 32% of cases, Facebook in 23% and Snapchat in 14%.

The data from April 2017 to September 2018 was released to the NSPCC by 39 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales.

 

 

In incidents where police also recorded the contact method, Instagram was used 126 times between April and September 2017 - but that increased to 428 for the same period last year.

Girls aged 12 to 15 were the most likely targets but roughly one in five victims were 11 or under, according to the records which also include an age. The youngest victim was reportedly five years old.

The NSPCC's chief executive, Peter Wanless, accused social media firms of "10 years of failed self-regulation".

 

Figures are 'overwhelming'

"These figures are overwhelming evidence that keeping children safe cannot be left to social networks," he said.

A spokesman for Facebook and Instagram said: "Keeping young people safe on our platforms is our top priority and child exploitation of any kind is not allowed.

"We use advanced technology and work closely with the police and Child Exploitation Online Protection Command to aggressively fight this type of content and protect young people."