“There’s a stranger in my kid’s bedroom and no-one cares”
The police have to start listening to people. When Lorin LaFave told the police one of her son Breck Bednar’s virtual friends – that disembodied voice you hear as your child plays Fifa or other online game over the internet with a fellow gamer – was grooming him and changing him, they took no notice.
With customary indifference the police didn’t follow up on her call or take any action to visit the person talking to her son – if only to rule out that he wasn’t some aged paedophile. In fact, the person Lorin’s 12 year-old son was talking to was a murderer – a little sh*t – Lewis Daynes, 19, who murdered him and then circulated photos of his body to his siblings. Read the BBC news story here.
The police didn’t even refer Lorin LeFave to the international CEOPs agency, which has a decent record on advising parents when they fear their child is in trouble online. That is heinous. Both Surrey and Essex police forces are being sued for negligence. I wanted to rant about this to raise this issue, particularly with parents outside the UK who might not have heard about the case or thought too deeply about the possibilities for danger via online gaming.
The child is at home, in his or her bedroom. Yet there’s a stranger in there.
If a mother rang the police and said there’s a maniac grooming my child in my house at this minute, a police car would have been dispatched. Transfer the same incident to an online setting and the police are sitting in 1950, waiting for the computer to happen. Get real officers.