Private Investigator Answers Investigation

Instant Messaging
The Dangers

Whatsapp, Facebook and other social media resources hold many dangers for teenagers and children. Talk to us if you have concerns about who your child is talking to an involved with - telephone us on 020 7158 0332 or email

Handling and investigating instant messages and internet contact


Answers Investigation have years of experience in dealing with and monitoring the problems of internet grooming and online abuse

There are hundreds of instant messaging services and chatrooms available across the Web, with many "Instant Message" services. 99% of British households are now online, and children from the age of 5 to 16 surf and use chat. Many parents are familiar with chatrooms. Many are not. Many fear what they see as an unknown danger, and are unaware of their children's activities

Of course, most kids will come to no harm, however the anonymity that chatrooms provide also provides a cover for some of the less admirable members of society. A survey by the NOP Family Group suggested that almost 2/3 of children have been lured into discussions about sex on the internet. The same survey also suggests that up to one in seven children have agreed to meet a stranger they have met (through chat or messaging) in person

The anonymity of words on a screen made it all too feasible for a teenager to be talking to what they thought was someone of the same age - the predator taking advantage of the child's naivety or susceptibility. We honed our skills right when these dangers started, tackling predators and would-be paedophiles and have kept pace over the years

It is not just children who are vulnerable. Chatrooms, Messaging and email also provide an anonymous medium for sexual harrassment. Train driver Andrew Lay was sentenced to six years imprisonment at Guildford Crown Court for having sex with a 13 year old girl he "groomed" on the internet. Patrick Green, who was sentenced in the UK after committing a series of sexual assaults on a 13 year old girl he met in a chatroom, was charged with indecent assault, unlawful sex and of possessing indecent photographs

We worked with the BBC to highlight the dangers, trapping and confronting a man who talked to, approached, and tried to meet what he thought to be a 14 year old schoolgirl, telling her to delete files of their conversations. He met the girl - in reality one of our Investigators - and was then confronted on camera by the BBC News. Coverage was cited in the Hanson Report and played a part in Part 1 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 becoming law

Social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo have increased in popularity. Users will leave personal details open for anyone to use and fake affiliation or peer group membership. Bullying is rife, predators use the information to ingratiate themselves with their target, to "make friends" - but with sinister motives. The use of social networking sites has become a problem for businesses, for misuse & time spent when they should be doing other things - many companies now ban access at work altogether

The first thing to do is talk to us, and we will arrange to meet you. Call us on 01483 200999 or on any of our local contact numbers. All matters are handled sensitively, confidentially and discreetly

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