AN eight-year-old girl was the youngest victim of child grooming in Warwickshire since a new law came into force on 3rd April last year, the NSPCC has said.
The charity said Warwickshire Police’s figures show that there were 17 offences of Sexual Communication with a Child recorded in the county in the first six months of a new offence, which was brought in as a result of a campaign by the NSPCC.
The majority of local victims were aged 12 to 15.
Nationally, 1,316 child grooming crimes have been recorded.
Before the new law came into force, police could not intervene until groomers met their victims.
The NSPCC is now calling on government and social networks to develop technology already at their disposal to prevent grooming, and bring in grooming alerts for victims and moderators.
Tony Stower, NSPCC head of child safety online, said: “Despite the staggering number of grooming offences in just six months, government and social networks are not properly working together and using all the tools available to stop this crime from happening.
“The government’s internet safety strategy must require social networks to build in technology to keep their young users safe, rather than relying on police to step in once harm has already been done.”