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2014.11.28_NSPCC_Flaw_in_the_Law.jpgI am lending my support to an NSPCC campaign to make it a crime for an adult to send a sexual message to a child.

I am backing the charity’s Flaw in the Law campaign, which is calling on the Government to introduce a new offence so that it is always illegal for an adult to intentionally send a sexual message to a child. The campaign is seeking an amendment to the Serious Crime Bill, which is soon due to receive its Second Reading in the Commons.

The law in this area hasn’t kept up with the way that abusers are using the internet to facilitate the abuse of children and the NSPCC is concerned that there is inadequate protection for children from online abuse.  Existing laws are fragmented and sex offenders are able to, and often do, exploit the loopholes. Sex abusers can often get away with effectively ‘fishing’ for child victims on social networks, mobile apps, chat rooms, and in online gaming environments.   The law only covers situations where it can be proved that the adult intends to meet a child. However, increasingly abusers online have no intention to meet a child and abuse them physically, meaning this legislation doesn't cover online grooming.

The NSPCC believes the new law would make it easier for police to step in earlier in the grooming process, before abuse escalates. 

The NSPCC’s campaign comes as ChildLine, a service run by the NSPCC, saw a 168% increase in the number of children counselled about online sexual abuse last year.

Given the alarming rise in online child abuse, it is very concerning that the current law is unable to adequately protect children. I urge the Government to listen to the NSPCC’s concerns and to create a new offence through the Serious Crime Bill so that it is always illegal for an adult to send a sexual message to a child

 

People can find out more about the NSPCC campaign and sign the petition at www.nspcc.org.uk/flaw and join the debate on social media by following #FlawedLaw.

Anyone looking for advice about keeping children safe online, or concerned about the safety and welfare of a child, can contact the NSPCC’s 24-hour helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email help@nspcc.org.uk

Children worried about online safety or any other problem can call the free, 24-hour helpline on 0800 1111 or get help online at www.childline.org.uk

NSPCC campaign to stop grooming in its tracks

I am lending my support to an NSPCC campaign to make it a crime for an adult to send a sexual message to a child.

Villiers_High_School_visit.jpg

Today I went to Villiers High School to try to give the students a better insight into politics. It is always a great pleasure for me to meet young people, who are the future voters and change makers.

I had a brief meeting with 3 GCSE students who are members of the Junior Leader Team and I was very impressed with the work they are doing in their citizenship programme. They have a particular interest in animal rights and have taken initiatives to raise awareness by selling ribbons.

Afterwards, I had a meeting with Politics students who are currently doing their AS. First of all, I told them about my journey, how I started off as a bus conductor in 1968, become a booking clerk, got involved in the trade union and then joined the Labour party, before becoming an MP in 2007. I told them about the particular social issues in which I’m interested and encouraged them to follow their passion as well.

The students asked me a number of questions and I tried my best to answer them to their satisfaction. Being students of Politics, they had very pertinent questions relating to what’s happening on a national basis and asked about lowering the voting age to 16.

It’s always heartening to see keen young people engaged in politics and I am sure that they will be active, involved members of their community and will have a bright future.

Visit to Villiers High School

Today I went to Villiers High School to try to give the students a better insight into politics. It is always a great pleasure for me to meet young people,...

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It was refreshing to meet a class of Year 5 students from Allenby Primary School on 26th November. 

Young children are very inquisitive and it’s always a pleasure to meet them and answer their questions. I have a special attachment to Allenby Primary School as my two grandchildren used to attend it, so today’s meeting brought back good memories.

I talked to the students about my role as MP representing Ealing Southall and told them a bit about my background as former Mayor and Councillor. I, then, invited them to ask any question they had on their minds and the range of questions I was asked was very interesting.

I was also asked about who inspired me to be in the political sphere and I replied, saying it was my father, his values and the way he wanted to make society a better place for the community.

I was very impressed with these young children who have a wide general knowledge about the particular issues in their locality. They are very aware of what’s happening to the health service, the downgrading of the A&E at Ealing Hospital, and issues relating to the widening of pavements.

At the end of our session, we took a group photo as a souvenir. I hope that this meeting was as much of a good experience for the children as it was for me!

Welcoming Allenby Primary School students to Parliament

  It was refreshing to meet a class of Year 5 students from Allenby Primary School on 26th November. 


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