Sussex Police issue warning to parents about web chat sites

SUSSEX Police are warning parents to be aware of internet web cam chat sites after a 14-year-old girl was coerced into performing a sex act on camera.

Detective Constable Paul Tonks said: “There are now sites that allow people to log on for free and only have to register a temporary username. Then there are literally thousands of webcams broadcasing all manner of activity from around the world. Such sites, which do not have many regulations, are increasingly popular with teenagers.

“It is very easy to link to a chat site that skirts around the criteria that parents expect to be in place in their child-friendly software.”

The victim, from Worthing, started chatting to a man who threatened to upload the webcam footage on the internet if she didn’t do what he said.

DC Tonks said: “We are warning the public, particularly young people, about the dangers of such sites because you just don’t know who you are talking to.

“With no administrators or regulators, there is no one to complain to. With technology more concerned with fast transmission than safe moderation or record-keeping, there’s nothing to use and trace an offender.

“That doesn’t mean people should not bother reporting internet-based offences to the police however. Not all sites operate the same. The message remains the same as always - just to be aware as much you can about what your children are accessing on-line.”