Jewish schools have urged parents to remain vigilant over their children’s online safety and report any concerns to police after two boys were allegedly sent sexual messages on Instagram.
An email to parents across several schools including JCoSS and Yavneh College alleged an Instagram account initially called “nwlondon_jcohen” and apparently re-named “JCoSScouples2019” sent inappropriate messages to children.
“Over the coming days it would be prudent, also, for parents and pupils to remain alert to this user changing their account name once again and to ensure that their children block anyone who sends or requests content of this nature,” the email read.
“If your family has older siblings who could be discussing this, it may be prudent to ask them to be sensitive about this so it does not become a topic of conversation for the younger child,” it continued, urging parents to report concerns to police on 101 or at www.ceop.police.uk/ceop-reporting.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said the force is investigating after two 11-year-olds allegedly received messages “of a sexual nature” on Instagram – in an incident reported on 2 December.
Officers spoke to the victims and shared online safety advice, the spokesperson confirmed.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the app Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, revealed an account has been removed for violating community guidelines since Jewish News reached out for comment.
A Facebook company spokesperson said: “Inappropriate contact with minors is not allowed on Instagram. We use leading technology and work with expert organisations to help prevent this behaviour.
“If we identify suspicious activity we act quickly to remove offending accounts and inform specialist law enforcement teams, including the child exploitation and online protection command.
“Keeping the young people who use our platforms safe is our top priority and in the coming weeks we’ll be rolling out a new setting in Direct that will give people the choice to no longer receive messages or be added to chat groups by people they don’t follow.”