Significant increase in ‘sextortion’ across Scotland according to Police 

  • Reports of ‘sextortion’ have increased significantly across Scotland according to Police Scotland – with the youngest victim aged just 10. 
  • Between January and August 2020, 283 crimes were recorded, an increase of 44% on the same period in 2019, when 196 offences were reported. 
  • Sextortion (or sexual extortion and exploitation) involves the threat of sharing sexual information, images or clips to extort money from people, whether images actually exist or not.  
  • Two-thirds of the extortions (189 incidents) demanded money from the victim to avoid disclosure of sexual images or footage they had unwittingly provided to criminals. Sextortion victims were aged between 10 – 85, with the majority (64% or 182) aged 25 and under. 
  • For the full story, select here.  
  • To learn how you can help children and young people gain control of their images online, select here


    Merton parents warned over edibles being sold on Snapchat 

    • Parents have been warned over cannabis edibles that look like normal sweets after pupils were rushed to hospital in Merton. 
    • Merton Safer Schools Team issued a warning to schools in the Borough after a number of pupils reported to suffer from anxiety or passed out after eating the laced sweets. 
    • It is believed that young people are being approached to buy edible drugs through social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram. 
    • Similar incidents took place in Sutton last month, which saw school children hospitalised after being sold cannabis-infused gummy bears.
    • For the full story, select here.

    Internet access: 1.5m UK homes still offline, Ofcom finds 

    • About 1.5 million homes in the UK still do not have internet access, a report by Ofcom has found.
    • The regulator has released its annual snapshot of online and media habits in the UK, which this year spans all three lockdowns. 
    • It found 20% of children did not always have access to a device for online learning while schools were closed. 
    • Ofcom said in total 6% of the homes had no internet access at all, at the time the study was carried out last month. 
    • Those without access were most likely to be either people aged over 65, or households with low incomes or financial vulnerability.
    • For the full story, select here.


      New study finds few children can spend a day without digital devices 

      • A new study has found that more than nine out of ten parents think digital media and technologies are a negative distraction in their lives and 83% think their children are also negatively distracted by digital devices. 
      • These findings come from the recently published Growing Up Digital Australia study.  
      • In 2020, researchers surveyed nearly 2,500 parents, grandparents and caregivers across Australia, which yielded data from about 5,000 children aged 5-17 on their use of digital devices at home during the pandemic. 
      • Our study shows more than 80% of children in this age group own a screen-based device and that children today, on average, have three different digital devices.  
      • Data shows that children start owning devices from as early as four years old. 
      • Only 46% of parents said their child could spend a whole day without using a digital device.
      • For the full story, select here