Young people have been urged to speak out if they have any concerns over online grooming.
Local MLA Catherine Seeley was commenting after new figures released by the NSPCC showed an increase in calls to Childline about online grooming.
Ms Seeley said: “News that more than 160 children in the North phoned Childline concerned about online sexual abuse and that most of the calls were from children aged 12-15 years of age is deeply alarming. Online grooming poses a very real risk.
“Given the growth of apps and websites that assist online chatting I would call on young people to speak out about any concerns they may have. I would also encourage parents to take an interest in their child’s online activity.”
Childline can be contacted 24 hours a day on 0800 1111 or at www.childline.org.uk,”