Over 60 devices have been seized by police and safeguarding measures have been deployed for 26 children.
Det Ch Insp Alan Weekes said: “We urge parents and carers, particularly in the current climate where children are spending more time at home, to regularly monitor their children’s devices and report any concerns to the police or partner agencies, so these can be investigated fully.”
An open letter led by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and signed by 129 non-profit organisations and safety advocates stated “We urge you to recognise and accept that an increased risk of child abuse being facilitated on or by Facebook is not a reasonable trade-off to make.”
The ‘Independent’ newspaper issued a Freedom of Information Request to the government but was told releasing the research was not in the public’s interest.
This week the British Home Office has stated that it will now “publish a paper into group-based child sexual exploitation in order to better understand the characteristics of group-based offending and help deliver justice for victims”.