Children are vulnerable to sexploitation.
Gardai in Kildare are joining police forces all over Europe and Europol to launch a new campaign against online sexual coercion and extortion of children.
The "Say No” campaign was launched earlier today in response to digital blackmail, sometimes referred to as ‘sextortion’, where sexual information or images are used to extort sexual material, sexual favours or money from children.
The "Say No” campaign is aimed primarily at children and young people who may be targeted online as victims of online coercion and extortion.
The centrepiece of the campaign is a 10-minute video, portraying two teenagers, a boy and girl, being exploited online either by a criminal organisation for money or by an individual online sexual offender seeking further sexual material.
The video, includes advice as to how such crimes may be reported to An Garda Síochána.
Parents and children alike are being advised by the Online Child Exploitation Unit at the Garda National Protective Services Bureau.
• Protect your online life - use the maximum privacy settings.
• Be aware that people online may not be who they claim to be.
• Keep control online - do not share explicit or intimate images with anyone.
If you believe you are a victim of this type of crime, don’t share more, don’t pay anything, look for help.
You are not alone, preserve evidence and don’t delete anything. Stop the communication and block the person. Report it to An Garda Siochana. Turn off the computer, tablet or smartphone and have it available for examination by the Garda Síochána.
“Posting or uploading explicit images on social media, or passing such imagery to others online, is extremely dangerous and can have devastating and lifelong consequences for children and their families,” the Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll of Special Crime Operations explained.
“Parents and children should be aware of the dangers involved and the Garda Síochána advise that explicit images should never be posted or shared online.
“Any child who receives a request for naked or explicit photographs should not share any images. We ask them to tell their parents and immediately make contact with the Garda Síochána who will advise them regarding how the matter should be handled.”
Click here for more information of the joint campaign by An Garda Siochana and Europol.