An award winning film produced by Leicestershire Police highlighting the dangers of internet grooming has gone viral hours after being posted online.
Kayleigh’s Love Story, a five and a half minute short, was made public on the Force’s website and Facebook page at 9am yesterday morning, Tuesday 3rd January, and reached over one million views within 24 hours.
The film was made to serve as a warning of grooming and sexual exploitation to children and parents following the tragic death of 15-year-old Measham schoolgirl, Kayleigh Haywood, in November 2015.
Viewers in their thousands have since taken to social media to praise both the Leicestershire Police for producing the film and Kayleigh’s parents for their bravery in allowing their story to teach other parents and their children of the dangers of online grooming.
Deputy Chief Constable Roger Bannister said he was overwhelmed by the interest in the film and the reaction online since its public launch.
He said: “To have reached so many people and for the film to have been seen by so many in such a short space of time is remarkable.
“It contains a really important message, a message for children and parents alike, and I believe it has the potential to keep many tens of thousands of children safe from the threat posed by predators online. I would urge everyone to watch it.”
The triple award winning film was shot by Loughborough’s Affixxius Films in February last year and until now has only been shown in controlled screenings to schoolchildren aged 11 and above across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
Between September 21st and the end of December, 37,000 children had viewed the film, some 35 of whom came forward with “disclosures” which are now being actively investigated.
Kayleigh’s Love Story is the centrepiece of an on-going campaign by the Leicestershire Police called CEASE, which aims to eradicate the sexual abuse of children across the county.
Mr Bannister added: “The sexual exploitation of children is a growing threat to society and through the use of this film and the CEASE campaign we are hoping children and adults are becoming more aware of the dangers posed by predatory individuals and the signs that could indicate someone may be at risk.”
Since 9am this morning, the film has also been available to view online in eight different versions including signed and audio described, and versions translated into Hindi, Guajarati, Urdu, Punjabi and Polish.
Watch Kayleigh’s Love Story in full below:
By Jennifer Morris