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Children playing games on Xboxes and PlayStations groomed by paedophiles

Children playing games on Xboxes and PlayStations have been groomed by paedophiles.

They are among more than 1000 victims to be targeted online in the past two years, according to police force data.

Many grooming cases involve popular sites and apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.

Predators are also lurking on less well-known sites such as Kik, Waplog, Chat-Avenue and Lycos Chat, figures from 38 police forces show.

Experts say the figures show parents need to be aware of the dangers – even on consoles, which are often thought safe.

An investigation by UK’s The Sun found that 28 different police forces charged people with grooming offences through crimes linked to Facebook.

There were 21 forces who charged or cautioned offenders for activity on Kik and 20 on WhatsApp.

Next came Snapchat (18 forces) followed by Instagram (11), Grindr (10) and Chat-Avenue (8).

Seven forces cited grooming offences linked to Waplog followed by Lycos Chat (6) and Meet4U (6).

CASES FROM ENGLAND POLICE FORCES

London’s Met Police – Britain’s biggest force – had 102 grooming cases in the last two years, with sites used including Facebook, Meet4U and Lycos.

Merseyside Police said it had charged 17 people with grooming in the last two years – and all had used the internet. Platforms used included Facebook, WhatsApp, Kik, Oasis, Kik and Meet 24.

In Northumbria, 87 of 97 cases were linked to online grooming including on Facebook, WhatsApp and Snapchat.

Cleveland Police said it had 12 cases in the last two years where the internet was used – on sites including Chatiq and Fast Meet.

West Midlands Police charged 12 people with grooming crimes – with eight linked to internet use of sites such as Twitter, Waplog and Facebook.

Avon and Somerset Police said 18 of 66 cases it logged involved the internet as a “key” factor. Offenders used Instagram, Badoo, Plenty of Fish, Twitter and Zoosk.

Essex Police revealed 22 cases in the last two years, including use of Facebook Messenger and Kik.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced here with permission

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