Charity reveals which apps perverts use to contact children

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APPS owned by Facebook are being used in sex crimes, a leading charity has said.

The NSPCC said Hampshire saw 62 cases of sexual communication with a child, a new crime brought into law in April last year. In the first nine months there were 62 cases.

Police revealed which apps were used in 67 cases – there are more as groomers sometimes use more than one platform to contact victims.

Instagram and WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, were used in 27 cases, with Snapchat used in 16 offences.

There were 1,628 such crimes in England and Wales.

Facebook and platforms it owns were used in 52 per cent of incidents. In the south east the youngest victim was nine.

NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said: ‘Facebook has shown it is happy to use data for commercial purposes, but has failed to harness data in a way that can be used to prevent grooming.

‘Facebook should be leading the way, but instead it has demonstrated time and again that self-regulation isn’t working and social networks can’t be left to mark their own homework.’