VIDEO: South Yorkshire Police share film to warn of dangers of speaking to strangers online

Police chiefs in South Yorkshire have shared a video highlighting the dangers of speaking to strangers online.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 5th January 2017, 11:03 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 11:40 am
Kayleigh Harwood
Kayleigh Harwood

Kayleigh's Love Story was produced by Leicestershire Police following the rape and murder of 15-year-old Kayleigh Haywood after she was groomed by a man she met online.

The teenager was contacted by Luke Harlow, aged 28, via social media and over two weeks the pair exchanged 2,643 messages before meeting in November 2015.

Kayleigh was raped and killed by Harlow's neighbour Stephen Beadman, who at 29 was sentenced to life imprisonment for rape, false imprisonment and murder, while Harlow was sentenced to 12 years behind bars for false imprisonment and grooming.

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A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "When you meet someone online you don't always know who you're talking to."

A Leicestershire Police spokesman added: "Harlow told the 15-year-old all the things many teenage girls want to hear. He told her she was beautiful, how much he cared for her and that she was special.

"Harlow was grooming Kayleigh, along with two other young girls he had also been speaking to. But it was Kayleigh that finally agreed to his requests to spend the night of Friday, November 13, 2015, at his house

"She spent the next day with him too, and in the early hours of Sunday, November 15, having been held against her will by Harlow and by his next door neighbour, Stephen Beadman, Kayleigh was raped and murdered by Beadman.

"With the support of Kayleigh’s family, Leicestershire Police has made a film about aspects of the last two weeks of her life.

"Kayleigh’s Love Story is as a warning to young people, both girls and boys, about the dangers of speaking to people they don’t know online. The film highlights just how quick and easy it can be for children to be groomed online without them or those around them knowing it is happening. Its purpose is to protect children now and in the future and to stop another family losing a child in this way.

It’s vital that young people understand the importance of staying safe online and parents can spot the signs that may indicate their child is being groomed."