On the 29th of November 2017 I attended an interview with BBC East Midlands Today covering the cruel event of a teenage girl who had been fed, what turned out to be an overdose of drugs, and who was then driven around on the back seat of a car up to the point she died.
The young lady in question who lost her life was Megan Bannister who was only 16 years of age. Megan had met her assailants, Jason Burder and Adam King both of whom are 28 years of age, on the Internet, prior to meeting up with them in person that very same weekend, when they spiked her drinks with ecstasy, and it was alleged they also part-strangled her – presuming to keep her silent, whilst they drove around looking for sex workers! The upshot of this very sad and chilling case is, yet again we see the internet being used by predators who are uttering a falsified-profiles to snare their prey and, in this case, sadly yet another victim.
In my opinion, the fact that ‘anyone’ can claimed to be ‘anyone’ they choose, set up on a basis of throw away pay-as-you-go phone number, a free email address, and a profile set to catch their catchment of victims is far too simple – and I am hopeful that we, as a society will arrive at a juncture at which we can force the providers of Social Networking sites to offer some form of end enrolment process, in which a user prolife can be subject to some form of validation service – which would then show a banner on the page, providing a higher level of trust. Of course, as of today, any user of such services can report such falsified profiles, but here I know only to well that people who are using Linkedin, claiming a long established professional profile, along with service in the RAF as a Pilot, Technician, and Computer Security Expert are completely false, but they have fooled some of the biggest company names on the planet who have been duped (for a short time at least) – and having reported these instances myself, I can confirm that Linkedin have not addressed, or deleted their profile. So thus, the can continue, and pose the imposition of falsification and the association of darker dangers.
In the meantime, all we can do is make our families, friends and any other such users of the Internet for purpose of socialisation aware that, ‘if you don’t know them in life – don’t connect’. In fact, where such predators are suspected, I would also urge that, notwithstanding the likes of Linkedin and Facebook seem to ignore such matters, nevertheless such connection attempts are blocked and reported. Also, granted the Police may not show always show interest with such reports, but nevertheless, again, I urge where any such suspicions implicate danger, these are also reported to the Police for further investigation before they can manifest in a crime report such as that sad death of Megan Bannister (R.I.P).