Parents’ tough love needed to save WA kids from online sex crime

THE police squad “shining a light” on the dark side of the internet has warned WA parents must use “tough love” to protect their children from online sex predators.

This includes stopping kids from posting full profile photographs on social media acc­ounts such as Facebook and Twitter and choosing non-gender specific usernames.

The advice comes from the Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team targeting online child sex crimes which has charged 35 people in WA with 147 off­ences since December.

Acting Commander Glenn Feeney, head of the WA Police sex crime division, said the off­icers were expertly trained to catch “technically savvy” predators, whose offending he described as “evil beyond words”.

He said while parents were more aware of the dangers online predators posed to their kids, they could still do more.

“A bit of tough love is needed from parents,” he said.

“They really need to stand up to the mark and say to their children, ‘I need to know what sites you’re on because I need to make sure you’re safe’.

“Whether you’re a parent or a grandparent … we love and protect our children and this is part of that role.”