Grooming is when someone builds an emotional connection with a child, gaining their trust for sexual purposes including sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or trafficking. This can happen online or offline.
A person may do this by:
- Pretending to be someone they are not
- Buying gifts
- Acting as a mentor
- Giving the child attention/flattery
Grooming is illegal and any suspicion or known grooming attempt should be reported to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Agency (CEOP).
If a young person is at immediate risk of harm please dial 999.
Most common social networking sites will also have reporting routes for this type of content: