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Snapchat warning26 January 2024

Guernsey Police has concerns about a Snapchat group in Guernsey which is exposing children suspected to be as young as seven to harmful content.

The group is believed to be sharing language with strong sexual or violent language and sexual images and may also be encouraging children to share indecent images of themselves.

It is believed upwards of 50 local children are in this group.

We would strongly encourage parents to take this opportunity to speak to their children about this and check that they are not part of this group or similar on the app. The social media app has an age restriction of 13+ however officers are aware that this doesn't always deter families from using it.

An investigation is currently ongoing into this matter, and enquiries continue.

Our Digital Safety Development Officer is currently running an education programme in schools with children of all ages which includes learning around 'nudes' and harmful sexual behaviours.

DSDO Laura Simpson said:

"SnapChat is not suitable for children at all. The age restriction of 13+ clearly isn't deterring families from allowing their children into this environment, and that is putting children at serious risk of sexual exploitation. Although SnapChat has some parental controls, they are never going to be as effective as honest, open conversations with your families about what to do if you receive unwanted contact."

Advice for Families

1)      Make use of parental controls, including making sure your child can't be added to a group without their consent.

2)      Remove all children under the age of 13 from SnapChat. Use children's real ages and dates of birth when signing up.

3)      Regularly monitor what your child is receiving. Paid monitoring services such as Bark (bark.us) can support families.

4)      Report any harmful content to the app using www.reportharmfulcontent.com

5)      Take screenshots of any harmful content

6)      Report to Police on 222222

DSDO Recommended Websites

www.Internetmatters.org  for more info on SnapChat

www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/  for online safety tips

www.thinkuknow.co.uk  for online sexual abuse

www.childline.co.uk/remove for support removing sexual images online

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