MP raises fears over child abuse

Sarah Champion

Sarah Champion

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A South Yorkshire MP has spoken out about the use of IT and social media in child abuse.

Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham, highlighted the risks new technology poses to children during a debate in Parliament.

She spoke about how gangs use social media to target vulnerable children and lure them into sharing personal information.

The MP said: “Abusers have always been able to identify vulnerable children, but social media and mobile phones now make it easy for them to make contact.

“Technology has left parents with an extremely difficult task in monitoring their children’s interactions and recognising potentially dangerous situations.

“Children and parents must be better educated as to the risks of online communications and the safeguards that are currently available.”

The MP urged Government to have ‘safe search’ as the default option on computers and search engines.

She also called for better co-ordinated operations to track down abusers.

She said: “Prosecution must not be allowed to become an ancillary concern.”

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