POLICE have detained a suspect 24 hours after officers received a report from a concerned parent whose nine-year-old daughter had been targeted online.

A 16-year-old teenager from Northern Ireland was arrested on suspicion of grooming offences after detectives were alerted by the victim's family before Christmas.

Safeguarding procedures have been put in place to support the young girl, from Warrington, and her family following the incident.

Following the arrest, parents are being advised to talk to their children so they can keep track of what they are accessing online and who they may be talking to.

Police say this will raise the awareness of the potential dangers young people face online.

Parents are encouraged to:

• Try to put the computer in an easy-to-see place in the home so that you can monitor what sites your child is visiting

• Check out the websites your child is using, just like you would check out a school or a youth group they might visit. Have a look and make a judgement whether you think it is a safe environment for them to be involved in

• Set up reasonable guidelines and limits for internet usage. Understand that it may be a big part of their life but that it needs to be regulated

• Explain to your children why it is important for them never to give out personal details or post pictures of themselves publicly, just like you would when you explain to them not to talk to strangers

• Install internet filtering software showing a Child Safety Online Kitemark on your computer. Filtering products with a Kitemark have been independently tested to provide a simple and effective means of support to parents, helping to ensure that a child’s online experience is a safe one. The Kitemark scheme is sponsored by the Home Office and Ofcom.