#KayleighsLoveStory - Leicester Police Produce a Disturbing Video Warning Against Internet Predation

Leicester Police
One of the most significant criticisms of social media is that the more widespread it becomes, the more it increases the risk of people - and kids in particular - being lured into traps. We've all seen Catfish, and we all know how easy it is to construct a falsified persona on the internet, and the more trusted a means of communication is, the more people are at risk.

Sadly, this was the case with Kayleigh Haywood, a 15-year-old girl who in 2015 was groomed, lured and sexually abused by one man, before being sexually assaulted and murdered by his next door neighbour. She was first contacted on Facebook, and last year both offenders were apprehended and ultimately confessed.

In the wake of it, Leicester Police joined forces with the Haywood family to create an awareness video about the dangers of talking to people online. You can watch it below, but fair warning, it contains scenes which some may find disturbing/upsetting. What it does very well indeed is make it clear that regardless of how someone comes across - what lingo they use, how they present themselves, what they promise, how shoddy their grammar is - it could be literally anyone.

This isn't exactly a new problem, but even in the early days of online chatrooms it was abundantly clear that the direction the internet was heading in was going to exacerbate it. The film is going to be shown in schools across the UK, with the hope that it will further emphasise just how careful kids need to be on Facebook or any other platform.

It's certainly a worthwhile cause, when I was at school the only awareness videos we got shown were about farm safety and why you should stay away from power substations. The benefit of putting the video out on YouTube and bannering it with a hashtag is that it can move much further than UK schools, as this is far from a localised issue, it's global.

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