31 October 2015. 15 year-old Kayleigh Harwood starts talking to a man online. They get on well. In just two weeks the pair exchange 2643 messages. He’s nice to her. He pays her compliments. Eventually they meet…
On November 14th, Kayleigh was raped, battered, killed and dumped in woodland by 28 year-old Luke Harlow and Stephen Beadman, 29.
Now a short film, commissioned by Leicestershire Police has been released and it’s aim is to stop this from happening again. This film needs to be seen and hopefully it will save lives. More than 20,000 schoolchildren in the UK have been shown the film and now it’s available online. We’ve got it for you below and we urge you to see it and pass it on.
A police spokeswoman said this about the film and case: “Kayleigh’s Love Story was made first and foremost to serve as a warning to children and parents about the risks of young people speaking to strangers online and to raise awareness of the signs of child sexual exploitation.”
“We want to stop this activity at first contact and encourage children to report it to the police or a trusted adult.”
“We also hoped that the film, alongside the discussion with one of our specially trained police community support officers would give children the confidence to come forward and talk to someone if they are worried about something that has happened to them.”
“It is evident from the 20 disclosures we’ve already received, the film is having this impact and young people who have been targeted by groomers are coming forward to tell us.”
Ultimately, despite the sadness and the visceral and upsetting nature of Kayleigh’s story – the message is singular and clear. If you suspected any suspicious online behavior – REPORT IT.
This is shocking. But vital…