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Online grooming awareness film

Fifteen-year-old schoolgirl Kayleigh Haywood was groomed online by a man she had never met from October 31st 2015 and 13 days later was raped and murdered by her groomer’s next door neighbour.

With the support of Kayleigh’s family, Leicestershire Police has made an awareness film about aspects of the last two weeks of her life.

‘Kayleigh’s Love Story’ is as a warning to young people, both girls and boys, about the dangers of speaking to people they don’t know online. The film highlights just how quick and easy it can be for children to be groomed online without them or those around them knowing it is happening. Its purpose is to protect children now and in the future and to stop another family losing a child in this way.

All criminal proceedings in this case concluded in June 2016, since which time Leicestershire Police has been showing the film in tightly-controlled screenings to partners and colleagues in the safeguarding arena, both locally and nationally.

In September 2016 the force began a major programme of screening the film to all children aged (secondary school) 11 and above, both in state and independent schools, to those taught from home and those children in alternative provision. To date, the film has been shown to more than 35,000 children in groups of no more than 30 at a time.

Leicestershire Police says this has been hugely time and resource-intensive, but that showing the film in this way (as advocated to us by specialist practitioners with whom we consulted) has brought rewards. Not only has it enabled officers to discuss with children the issues the film raises about online safety, but it has, to date, led to 35+ disclosures which are currently being investigated.

With their schools roll-out programme almost finished, they are today (Tuesday 3rd January 2017) releasing the film online.

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