Wythenshawe 17-year-old arrested for ‘posing as teenage girl on Facebook’ to groom boys

Young internet users have been warned about the hazards of social networking sites after the arrest of a 17-year-old in Wythenshawe.

Greater Manchester Police believe that he posed as a 16-year-old girl on Facebook and asked young boys to send him indecent photos of themselves.

A warrant issued for his arrest and officers apprehended him at an address on Didcot Road at around 6.20pm yesterday evening – seizing all computers, phones and other media devices with internet access.

The 17-year-old was arrested on suspicion of inciting a child under 13 years to commit a sexual act and he remains in custody for questioning.

Detective Inspector Sarah-Jane Lennie, of South Manchester Division, said: “I want to stress how extremely important it is that parents are mindful of who their children are speaking to on social media sites.

“They could perhaps speak to them of the associated dangers of speaking to and sharing material with strangers.

“There are people out there who will use social networking to befriend children with the intention of meeting up and exploiting them for their own sexual gratification.

“Please remind your children that they should only accept friend requests from people they know, never from strangers and stress the importance of being careful with every communication they have with people on social networking.”

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) aims to educate and inform young people about the risks of being online through its Thinkuknow initiative.

CEOP encourages young people and their parents to report any concerns about someone’s online behaviour through the ClickCEOP button which can be found on several social networking sites.

Anyone who has been a victim of online child abuse can call the police, the independent charity Crimestoppers (0800 555 111), the NSPCC or the CEOP Centre.

Image courtesy of Nick Malaguti with thanks

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