Northamptonshire Police warning parents over video streaming app

Police have written to every school in Northamptonshire to highlight child safety concerns linked to a live video streaming app


Staff from the county's Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) have taken the unusual action to bring the app to the attention of parents.

In the letter circulated to head teachers, Detective Sergeant Nickie Deeks said officers had been made aware of an investigation in another force area where a video stream of a young child being directed to engage in sexual activity was viewed more than 15,000 times.

The officer is also warning schools to make parents aware that under the latest Snapchat update, public settings allow users to find someone's exact location.

The officer wrote: "It produces a map which allows you to see their exact location down to the house they are in.

"Snapchat 'hotspots' allow anyone to see snapchats that are set to public - you do not need to have added any of these people to get locations and the update is worldwide.

"Children and young people are vulnerable for a number of reasons to being sexually exploited through the use of the internet and, in particular, social media.

"The internet is an amazing resource and tool but sadly does come with risk."

Northamptonshire Police, who regularly provide online safety advice, advise parents to set up smartphone-free zones in their homes, making it easier to monitor the use of tablets and mobiles.

The app's terms of use specify that users must be aged 18 or have parental permission to log in.

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