An emotive film and learning package is to be launched in schools today to highlight the dangers of online grooming.

Kayleigh’s Love Story is a film that was produced last year about a 15-year-old schoolgirl, Kayleigh Haywood, who was groomed online by a stranger in Leicester and subsequently raped and murdered in November 2015.

Since September 2016 the film has been shown to more than 35,000 children in Leicestershire and is currently being rolled out to schools in Derby and Derbyshire between 20th February and 7th April.

The film will be shown to school children aged 11-16 either in their school assemblies or through workshops. The learning package will include letters, leaflets and consent forms for parents and information for teachers.

Councillor Sara Bolton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People and Safeguarding says,

“In my role as Cabinet Member, I wrote to Head Teachers in schools only in January this year to alert them to the film, and to encourage them to watch it online.

The dangers of the internet for children and young people are well documented, but many continue to expose themselves to those would prey on their innocence.  This film sends a powerful message of the dangers of communicating with strangers online.  Whilst Kayleigh’s story is distressing, it reminds us all, parents and children alike, that not everyone they link with online is who they say they are.”

“The learning resources for schools being launched today are incredibly important, and I am pleased to see that many of our schools in Derby are working with us to teach children and young people that the internet is not as safe as they may think it is.”

Detective Chief Inspector Malc Bibbings from our Public Protection unit said:

“We are hoping that the rollout of this hard hitting, emotive film to the majority of teenagers in Derbyshire will deliver the key messages of the dangers of online grooming.

“We also want to educate parents on the dangers of this type of crime. It is easy to pretend to be someone else on the internet; children can often end up having conversations with people who claim to be a lot younger than they actually are.

“Very often children do not realise that they have been groomed and online predators are not always strangers. In many situations they may have already met the child through family or friends.

“Police officers across the county will be attending the majority of sessions in schools. They will be available for children to ask questions and to help deliver safety advice on the subject.”

Further information on how to keep safe online is available on our website and on the Derbyshire Constabulary web site.

The film is available for you to view on YouTube.

Published: 20th February 2017