Beckley Police Department offers advice to prevent child solicitation

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – There have been multiple cases of child solicitation across Southern West Virginia this week.

With one of the cases being in Raleigh County, the Beckley Police Department has been on alert regarding these instances.

“We always stay on high alert and are aware of what’s going on,” said Beckley Police Department Corporal Justin Hudnall. “Anytime we receive a complaint like that, then it’s investigated by officers that have received specialized training in that area.”

Parents have a key role to play in making sure that their children are acting responsibly online.

“The best advice I could give for the parents is to stay aware, stay vigilant,” Hudnall said. “Set boundaries. Set parameters for your children, and be aware at all times who they’re talking to and what they’re doing when they’re on the internet.”

With more inside time due to COVID-19, more technological use could increase chances of dangerous internet exposure.

“With COVID and everybody locked inside, there is more opportunity and more time for children to be on the internet,” Hudnall said. “(Parents) need to stay vigilant, stay aware of what they’re doing an who they’re talking to.”

The best thing children and parents can do is prioritize safe and responsible internet usage to prevent incidents of solicitation.