back to article Stranger danger: Worse online, or on the street?

There have been more than 2,000 child victims of "on street" grooming since 2008, but poor data collection makes combating the problem more difficult - according to an official report. Data collected by police and other agencies is patchy at best. Out of 2,083 victims recorded between January 2008 and March 2011 many did not …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    And what were those runaways running away from?

    How many kids were abused by parents, relatives, neighbours, teachers or others known to the child and/or in a position of trust?

  2. Anonymous Coward


    Anyone want to have another stab at this article, maybe actually making useful in some way?

    Also given the title is "Stranger danger: Worse online, or on the street?", why no mention of on-line 'grooming' numbers as a comparison, or even any actual mention of it at all?

    Reads like someone hit 'send' before they meant to...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      re: eh?

      And an extra thumbs down for the standfirst. "Bags of sweets weighed against computers"

      I think it's an attempt to (humourously!?) suggest that we over-react to cyber-grooming. Without offering any serious analysis.

      Actually, without offering any analysis whatsoever.

  3. David 66

    school run

    Nothing makes my blood boil on a daily basis quite like the school run of parents driving their kids to school. It's wrong on so many levels: expense, pollution, congestion, fear reinforcement, weakening and fattening the children. Killing with kindness.

    Kick the kids out of the door, keep them off the internet and they'll be 10x safer from dangerous predators (who're all online). They'll integrate into society, get social skills (as opposed to social media skills), get fresh air and exercise, and perhaps give us some hope for the future.

  4. ClammyLammy


    "20 per cent of perpetrators were of Asian origin"

    That's remarkably high considering in England/Wales the Asian/Asian British population is around 6% (in 2009 at any rate). Makes me curious as to what's influencing this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      >Makes me curious as to what's influencing this

      Possibly the different value each culture place on it's women folk and how they see those of other cultures.

    2. Ken 16 Silver badge

      I wouldn't read anything into it

      since there's a large number of cases where ethnicity wasn't identified; at a guess the only areas where ethnicity is recorded are those with large multi ethnic communities, distorting the percentages.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: I wouldn't read anything into it

        Some people want to talk about and adrress it whilst others want to ignore it or refuse to accept it isn't a problem. Evidently it has been a problem that has been known for a while, see this dated March 2008


        Mr. Mohammed Shafiq, Director of the Foundation comments:

        “The Ramadhan Foundation believes that is practice of grooming white teenagers into prostitution is a problem that needs to be dealt with openly and without any fears...


        The only part of this article I would disagree with is the following

        >Whilst there is no evidence that the Police or local authorities are deliberately not speaking out about this evil practice

        In a few recent high profile cases the police have said they virtually bent over backwards to try to hide the race aspect so I think we can lean towards assuming that if ethnicity wasn't identified it was to hide it.

    3. Semaj

      Please tell me you are being sarcastic...

      Do you honestly think that "predators" are "all online"?

      Do you really think that paedophilia is a recent occurrence?

      I take the piss saying that there are people who think that. Obviously I underestimated how ignorant people are of actual history.

      I'd personally much rather have a kid on the net unfiltered than have then roaming the streets with the local chavs. I know which one is going to become a better person when they grow up that's for sure.

      1. Graham Marsden

        Re: Please tell me you are being sarcastic...

        Please don't tell us you believe the Daily Fail and the Scumday Mirror et al who want you to think that there's a kiddy fiddler behind every bush and in every passing car.

        Please don't tell us that you really think that it's safer to let your kid use the web without supervision or filtering than letting them actually *go outside*?

        Or are you just another lazy parent who thinks that it's the job of *everyone else* to take responsibility for and take care of your kids and teach them good behaviour because you can't be bothered to do it yourself?

        1. Semaj

          his first paragraph made sense

          My reply was more to his second paragraph, which looks more like the attitude that you are describing. Just as there is not a pedo under every rock, there is not a pedo lurking in every web site.

          And nah I'm not a parent but I'm speaking from my own experience being a kid with both net access and freedom to go outside.

      2. Brezin Bardout

        re: Please tell me you are being sarcastic...

        'I'd personally much rather have a kid on the net unfiltered than have then roaming the streets with the local chavs.'

        If that's the only two choices your children would have, I suggest you leave parenting to others.

        1. Semaj
          Thumb Up

          good point

          That is a good point to be fair. Of course there is the correct middle ground of teaching the kids not to be idiots in the first place then they'll be responsible enough to use the net (unfiltered or otherwise) and not want to hang round with the scum bags.

          And to the other guy - of course I'm not one of the DM "pedos are under every rock" group ... not sure where you got that idea from because that's the opposite of what I said. I think that the problem is over exaggerated both on the Internet and in real life and teaching kids responsibility and logic is the best solution.

  5. Charles Smith

    CEOP puff?

    I've just turned down a request for me to provide voluntary support to investigate the slow running PCs and network at a local health charity. The reason? I had to undergo CRB checking before I can come into contact with the PCs. The job would involve no access to the patients. The secondary reason was the inclusion of a questionnaire about my ethnic origins, again mandatory. What the fell does my skin colour have to do with my ability to resolve computer problems?

    Ironically I have a perfectly clean sheet in respect of CRB and have a high level security clearance in several countries including this one.

    It is sad to say that Quangos like CEOP with their scatter gun approach and poor statistics, little better than SWAG techniques are the reason why many perfectly respectable people refuse to volunteer.

    Why does CEOP make such an announcement about "on-street" grooming when it doesn't even have reasonably accurate figures? If I were a cynical person I might think it was self-promotion by an agency bidding for extra funding and autonomy.

    1. Semaj
      Big Brother

      You are now on "the list"

      Turning down CRB, almost as bad as "failing" one.

  6. RichardB

    I wonder

    how many kids get raped online.

    I suspect it's not many.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I suspect..

      I suspect you have no idea what you are talking about.

  7. Ken 16 Silver badge

    What qualifies as grooming?

    legally I mean?

    I'm not questioning their work, just the basis of the statistics and the clarity of the article.

  8. ScottAS2

    Act now!

    Children are getting groomed on the street! Won't anyone think of the children? We must make access to streets much harder to obtain immediately! All roads departments should implement mandatory filtering hardware to block terrorists, paediatricians^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h ophiles, socialists^w, people who have consenting sex, those fingered by the Daily Mail as "a bit odd" and other undesirables from getting access to our children. Yes, in a minority of cases, this could cause inconvenience for people going about their perfectly legitimate business, but surely no price is too high to pay for the sake of the ickle children?

  9. zerocred

    CEOP never did get back to me...

    When I told them I had sent a completely naked picture of my 2 minute old son to people on the internet.

    Should I be worried?

  10. Alan Brown Silver badge

    stranger danger.....

    ... is hugely overstated.

    The vast majority of abuse is perpetrated by someone known to the child, usually a member of the family and not necessarily male.

    It's also worth noting that ~1/3 of sex offenders are under 18.

    The room seems to be full of elephant.

  11. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

    Stranger danger...

    That would be me then. At least according to that 50-yo lady who came and "casually" observed that I was using too big a camera to take picture of children. And what a big lens. And really isn't that a big too big to take pictures of children. (I was at a show, shooting the stage with a RB67 sporting a 250mm when some mist came out of the ground and kids -and their parents- began to frolick in there. I took 2 shots of the kids -and their parents- while this lady filmed them with a compact for 10 min., but somehow *I* was the weirdo). As a result, I told her that she was right, That I had a much better lens for kids, switched to the 90mm in my backpack and shot a couple more pics of the kids before switching back to the 250mm -and to the show.

    On a barely-related note that day I was also harrassed and yelled at by a drunk who wouldn't believe that yes, the RB67 is street-legal, and that no, I didn't need a special permit. Apparently it wasn't even the size, but the *age* of the thing that disturbed him.

    So I think that a lot of people take the "stranger danger" very seriously. Much too seriously I would think, given that kid abusers are mostly their parents or close relatives.

    Well, at least I wasn't accused of being a terrorist.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Through The Looking Glass

    'Stranger Danger' has been a huge disservice to child safety over the decades. The NSPCC knows it (they even published the figures), but they'd rather cosy up to CEOP (always follow the money) and tag along with their particular brand of misinformation and self-serving propaganda.

    This is just another non-story put out by the Press Department of an organisation desperately struggling to justify it's £multimilliion annual budget to the taxpayer in the face of a dwindling workload. CEOP is a results-driven organisation. Every year they are duty-bound to publish their 'results' - hence the celebratory tone of their annual reports in which they crow, without irony, on the 'success' of the number of arrests and children 'safeguarded' (whatever that currently means).

    How long before IWF (also a CEOP bedfellow - well, they're all job-creation schemes for coppers, anyway, if you read the small print) stops publishing it's annual results? Every year they have to report news of their own imminent demise as the number of online CP sites decreases.

    I wouldn't exactly call that a job incentive.

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