September 28, 2021

Kilkenny parents urged to be vigilant amid investigation into sharing of inappropriate images

Parents in Kilkenny are being urged to be vigilant about their children’s use of mobile apps after an investigation into the sharing of inappropriate or offensive images was launched in neighbouring Tipperary.

Gardai n Mid-Tipperary and the Garda Cyber Crime Unit have launched the investigation following reports of adults sharing inappropriate photos with children, as well as requesting pictures from them.

Gardai in Thurles leading the investigation say the incidents occurred while the children have been online game chatrooms or on social media apps.

A Garda spokesperson warned this kind of activity is happening across the country. The authorities are urging parents to be vigilant when it comes to their children’s use of smartphones, tablets and consoles.

Local gardai have been visiting schools in the educating kids on internet safety and about the dangers of online chatrooms and social apps.

It was from these educational visits the gardai received reports of the inappropriate activity.

A Garda source told “Images have been distributed to people’s accounts. Following on from the school visits, we received reports of material being distributed that wasn’t of a suitable nature for children.

“This kind of activity is not just confined to this region, it’s Kilkenny, it’s Waterford. It’s every little nook and cranny.”

Gardai are now trying to get the same message across to parents, urging them to monitor their children’s screen time.

The Garda spokesperson added: “We are asking parents to be aware of what is out there for kids. With online schooling over the last year, kids were on their laptops an awful lot, on their phones a lot and people might take it for granted they are on something harmless.

“Not everything on the internet might be harmless for the kids. We don’t want to frighten anybody and we don’t want parents taking phones off kids. This is about safety online.”

PHOTO: Stock image 


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