The NSPCC has analysed the details of criminal offences recorded by the police in the nine months since it became a criminal offence to have sexual communication with a child. It found that for offences where the method of communicating with the child were known, apps owned by Facebook were used in over half of the cases.
Since April 2017, 32.6% of grooming cases involved the use of Facebook, and 18.8% of cases involved Instagram or WhatsApp (both owned by Facebook). The second most commonly used app in grooming cases was Snapchat. The NSPCC is calling on the government to bring in mandatory safeguarding rules which protect children online.