While most sites stipulate a token ‘18 age limit’, it’s ridiculously easy to lie.
In under an hour six men had already made contact, one sending a picture of himself in his underwear.
He said a combination of the letter left by Mr Cunliffe, his depression and the circumstances surrounding the death, led him to believe it was suicide.
DI Danby said the letter to his girlfriend included an apology and an intent to self-harm.
A spokesman for the Child Exploitation Online Protection centre said: “There are many ways in which people engage with each other online and we know that those with a sexual interest in children will seek to exploit tools such as social media for their own ends.“Information and guidance for children and young people on how to stay safe online and when using social media platforms is needed, as well as information for parents and teachers.”Organisations like the NSPCC are so concerned they have called for specific lessons in school to warn youngsters of the dangers.
Today a spokesman for the charity said: “Online safety is a major 21st century child protection challenge.
Within seconds it was easy to identify 44 Lancashire, aged just 13 and 14, who had posted their profiles on the site, along with several other Lancashire children aged 15 to 16.
It’s a seemingly innocuous question - but not as innocent as it seems when it is being asked by a stranger in his 40s on a dating app.We went undercover to highlight how easily vulnerable children can be targeted on such sites.It took a matter of minutes to create a fake email account with a bogus name and age, and use it to set up a fake account as a shy confused teen.Lancashire’s courts are seeing an increasing number of cases featuring sex offenders who use online dating sites to find their victims, and police figures show 29 children under 16 have been victims of crimes linked to either online dating or dating apps in Lancashire, in the last five years.A Freedom of Information request shows the number of reports to Lancashire Police of an alleged crime where online dating was named in the log, or a dating app such as Tinder or Grindr was named in the log.