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Online grooming is a growing threat and can take place in your home without you knowing.
In November last year 15-year-old Kayleigh Haywood received a Facebook message from Luke Harlow, a man she had never met.
Over the course of 13 days they exchanged 2643 messages. Harlow told Kayleigh all the things many teenage girls want to hear. He told her she was beautiful, how much he cared for her and that she was special.
Harlow was grooming Kayleigh, along with two other young girls he had also been speaking to. But it was Kayleigh that finally agreed to his requests to spend the night of Friday 13 November 2015 at his house.
She spent the next day with him too, and in the early hours of Sunday 15 November, having been held against her will by Harlow and by his next door neighbour Stephen Beadman, Kayleigh was raped and murdered by Beadman.
Kayleigh’s Love Story
With the support of Kayleigh’s family, Leicestershire Police has made a film about aspects of the last two weeks of her life.
Kayleigh’s Love Story is 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.
From September the film will start to be shown in schools to children 11 and over. A trailer of the film has also been made and can be seen at www.leics.police.uk/kayleighslovestory
Do you know what your child is doing online?
Many children and young people spend a lot of time online so it is important to know what they are doing and who they are speaking to.
There are signs that could indicate your child is engaging in a dangerous online relationship and steps you can take to protect them https://leics.police.uk/advice-and-information/information-zone/child-sexual-exploitation/online-grooming-parents
There are also places and people that can help and where you can report any concerns https://leics.police.uk/advice-and-information/child-sexual-exploitation/parent-or-guardian
Show your support
You can show your support to tackling this crime by supporting our CEASE campaign.
CEASE (commitment to eradicate abuse and sexual exploitation) is a major multi-agency campaign to tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
We want everyone to play their part by making a commitment that such abuse and exploitation of children will not be tolerated. We all have a responsibility to help tackle it.
You can show your support in the following ways:
Send a CEASE hand selfie to LeicsPolice via Snapchat