April 9th 2019
I asked the Secretary of State for Digital Culture Media and Sport, whether he had conversations with the Home Secretary to make Catfishing a criminal offence.
Catfishing is when somebody’s identity is stolen and used to groom victims online. This can be both for sexual and financial gain. There has been a huge growth in dating sites, these online platforms have a responsibility to make more effort to identify catfishers and sexual predators which would make their sites safer for users.
Catfishing can leave the victims traumatised and often has devastating consequences as I first discovered when local constituent Matt Peacock told me that his images had been used by a catfish to exploit vulnerable women online. Since then I have been campaigning to make catfishing illegal.
At the reading of today’s Crime Bill, I raised the importance of better data sharing on sexual predators between the UK and the United States and the crucial role it plays in helping safeguard our children who are being groomed online.
Below is my submission to the Department for Culture Media and Sport’s Green Paper Consultation on their Internet Safety Strategy held in 2017.
The submission outlines what actions I believe what action the Government must take to project vulnerable people from being exploited by Catfish on social media and the internet.
I will provide updates from the Government when they release their response to the consultation.