Grooming is another extremely serious Internet threat that is causing great concern. This type of threat is aimed mainly at young people. Typically, an older person will use the Internet and its services, particularly chat rooms and social networking sites, to communicate with younger people.
Groomers will provide inaccurate information about themselves and in many cases will pretend to be a younger person. Once the groomer has made on-line contact with their victim they will spend time becoming their friend and trying to get as much personal information as they can.
This process could go on for weeks or even months. The eventual aim of the groomer is to arrange to meet the victim in person in order to carry out some type of illegal activity, usually of a sexual nature.
There have been many well-documented cases of grooming. The following were all reported in the single month of January 2016 (click on the links to view the reports):
- The Mirror reported that a man was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment after he groomed a teenage girl he met in an on line chat room and had sex with her.
- The Manchester Evening News reported a man who raped a teenage girl after grooming her online is jailed for 11 years.