British Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2020

Beware of child predators on the internet- RVIPF - urges parents & guardians to keep children safe from online child sexual abuse & exploitation

Beware of child predators on the internet- RVIPF - urges parents & guardians to keep children safe from online child sexual abuse & exploitation

With children at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and many of them having the opportunity to constantly access the internet, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) has urged parents and guardians to monitor the online activity of children to protect them from online child predators.

According to the Global Threat Assessment (2019), one-third of the world's population inclusive of 800 million children are connected through social media (the internet). At any given moment, there are about 750,000 child predators connected to the internet.

“These figures can now double because most of our children are home and would spend longer hours meeting old and new friends online,” a press release from the RVIPF today, April 1, 2020, stated.

Possible threats to children online


According to the RVIPF, the types of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (CSAE) threats children could face are:

Offline contact: child sexual abuse of persons your child may very well know and trust.

Online Child Sexual Exploitation (OCSE): this includes online luring, grooming, blackmail, sharing, and viewing of indecent images of children (IIOC), live streaming, etc. These can take place through the very mediums that parents approve of, such as WhatsApp Messenger, Facebook Messenger, FaceTime App, Instagram, and Snap Chat, just to name a few.

Protect the future


The RVIPF said Acting Detective Inspector Kendolph Bobb and his team of Detectives from the Family and Juvenile Unit of the RVIPF take pride in the safeguarding of the Territory’s children.

“We are therefore taking the time to remind parents at home to pay closer attention to what your children are viewing, and who they are making friends with. Some of you may not be computer savvy, but you can educate them of the dangers outlined above.”

The RVIPF also said it is aware that some parents fall under the essential workers category and may have jobs that require them to be away from home during curfew hours.

“Please be vigilant. Call and check in as often as you can. The children are the future, and we must do the best we can to protect them.”

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