POLICE are hunting a sexual predator who abused three Wigan schoolgirls online.
The stranger persuaded the three youngsters, who are aged 11, 12 and 13, to expose themselves to him – after he had done the same – while talking to them in a chatroom.
Detectives today urged parents to be vigilant about whom their children speak to over the internet. It was on November 30 that officers received a report that a man had asked the three young three girls to expose themselves.
Inquiries have established that the three were in the chatroom while together at a house in the Stubshaw Cross area on an earlier date when they began chatting to a man believed to be in his early 20s.
He exposed himself to the girls and asked them to do the same, which they did.
The site does not have any log-in details or passwords, making it easily accessible.
Det Con Susan O’Connell, based at Wigan police station, said: “With Christmas fast approaching many children are likely to be given their first computer or smartphone giving them instant access to the internet.
“While this will open up a whole new world to them it is important they and their parents are aware of the darker side of the World Wide Web.
“Sadly, we see all too often that there are predatory individuals out there who will not think twice about taking advantage of young, vulnerable and impressionable children for their own malevolent gains.
“If you are buying an internet-ready device for your child please sit down with them and have a serious and frank discussion about what sites they should and shouldn’t visit and the dangers of talking to strangers online.
“It is also important that parents see what safety features are available on these devise and their service provider and take all steps possible to prevent access to unsavoury and unsafe websites.”
Anyone who knows about the incident is asked to ring police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.