Kids often uninformed about criminals lurking on websites

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Kids often uninformed about criminals lurking on websitesECPAT/STOP Japan

More than 60 percent of children victimized by crimes to which social networking sites (SNS) made them vulnerable did not receive any warning from their parents against accessing such websites, the National Police Agency revealed Tuesday.

When it examined 599 SNS crimes against children from January to June, the NPA found 94 percent of victims did not subscribe to filtering services to block access to content judged inappropriate for minors. Furthermore, 63 percent of the children were not given any parental warnings against visiting such websites. The crime data excludes dating sites.

Investigation results revealed only 9 percent of the victims had been told by their parents to stay away from potentially harmful websites or given other specific instructions on the use of them. As a result, the agency noted children and parents are extremely vulnerable to SNS-related crimes.

According to the analysis, 88 percent of suspects in the cases told police they used the sites for sexual purposes. Specifically, 74 percent visited the sites looking to have sex with children and 14 percent did so to collect obscene materials.

Regarding the amount of time the suspects took to commit the crimes after meeting their targets, 34 percent answered “within a week,” including 13 percent who confessed to wrongdoing “immediately or the next day.”

The agency also found 46 percent of the victimized children visited the sites because they were free of charge, while 27 percent used them because they were recommended by friends. Eleven percent surfed the sites to play games.

Asked why they decided to meet with the suspects, 19 percent said they wanted to have fun. The same percentage of children cited impressions that the suspects were kind enough to listen to their problems, while another 19 percent said they intended to receive money and gifts. Meanwhile, 7 percent explained the suspects were so insistent they could not refuse their meeting requests.

The Daily Yomiuri, Nov. 9, 2012
See original article at:http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20121109dy01.htm

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