The Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) has issued an alert to parents and guardians and educational institution to be cautious as there was an increase in disturbing trends of offenses against children during this COVID-19 period.
The DCI said in a series of tweets that the perpetrators are taking advantage of the online learning in schools and other learning institutions where children are undergoing zoom classes to lure their victims. Many schools and even tertiary education institutions students are using various online portals to continue learning and revise while at home. This has necessitated use of internet devices even for minors in order to access the services.
In four of the reported cases, the predators sent inboxes to the vulnerable children complimenting their looks and after gaining their trust, went ahead to ask them for nude images among other despicable acts. There are more cases of similar nature across various parts of Kenya that have been reported so far.
The DCI has called for sensitization of the public and an appeal to report any offenses committed against minors to the Child Protection unit using their toll free line 116 or report to the nearest police station. Affected parents are also advised to avoid withholding information and to furnish the officers with details of the perpetrators such as user names, phone numbers, email and social media accounts that have been in contact with the children.
Parents and guardians are also advised to be wary of their children’s whereabouts at all times, and to monitor their online activities to avoid negative influence as well as the vulnerability to predators which could result in kidnappings, defilement or even death.