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was I unreasonable to threaten sons xbox friend with the police

(50 Posts)
1pink4blue Fri 01-Jul-16 14:37:41

my son is 10 and has an xbox and online he friends are from school.
yesterday he comes to me and asks me if I have a camera he can borrow so I ask him what it's for and he starts to tell me about this 18 year old who has added him as a friend and wants him to send a picture of himself.
my son doesn't have a phone as we feel he Is too young.
I started a conversation with my son about this person and he started telling me that this person has been asking if my son has facebook or whattsap or any social media things.
It made me very uneasy something just doesn't feel right so I asked my oldest son who is also 18 to message this person to not contact my 10 year old again that we feel it is inappropriate to be asking him for any pictures or any social media addresses and that if he tries to contact him again we would call the police.
my oldest son has blocked this person and I have spoke to my son about it and all he said was mum I asked him if he was a pervert and he said no.
I have removed his xbox from his room and he now will play it in his older brothers room with somebody there.
have I over acted or am I right.

Mari50 Fri 01-Jul-16 14:40:36

Totally right, what 18 year old (if indeed they are 18!) starts a friendship with a 10 year old.
If your son brought someone this old home to play with you'd be very suspicious, same thing when it's online if you ask me.

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Fri 01-Jul-16 14:42:23

I think you've exactly the right thing. Well handled.

I'd love to be as level headed as you.

One of DS's Minecraft books has a big section on internet safety. I'll find out the name of the book later and send you a link.

monkeywithacowface Fri 01-Jul-16 14:42:54

No not an over reaction IMO. Problem is you just don't know who this person is. They may have innocent motives but frankly at 18 they must be very stupid I think it's ok to ask a 10 year old for picture or a Facebook request.

sepa Fri 01-Jul-16 14:43:27

I agree with above. What 18yr old asks to see pictures of a 10yr old? Very strange

HeartOnTheLine Fri 01-Jul-16 14:44:14

It was unreasonable to threaten him with the police, he is 18 (actually I don't believe he is was 18, I'm thinking older) but if he is 18 he shouldn't want to interact with a 10 year old online!

acasualobserver Fri 01-Jul-16 14:44:33

Appropriate action IMO.

Hidingtonothing Fri 01-Jul-16 14:47:06

You've handled this exactly right OP, I might even go so far as to give the police a quick call if you still have access to any of this persons details, it can't hurt for them to have a record in case there are further reports from other people. If that's not possible you've done everything right to protect your son, definitely not an over reaction.

1pink4blue Fri 01-Jul-16 14:49:18

thank you for your responses I'm just relieved that we have found out quickly.
I'm glad that people think we have done the right thing I explained to my son that the person might be totally innocent but I'm not willing to take that chance.

Gatehouse77 Fri 01-Jul-16 14:50:13

I'd be inclined to pass on any information you've got to the police. I'm no neurotic but having watched a programme recently about someone who tried, and succeeded, to control a younger lad I wouldn't take any chances.

Your son did the right thing by telling you and that should be applauded. Other kids might be more vulnerable and easily influenced.

It's a sad state of affairs to be suspicious but I'd rather know I did something about nothing than potentially ignored a bigger picture.

HeartOnTheLine Fri 01-Jul-16 14:52:17


Whoops sorry.

EasternDailyStress Fri 01-Jul-16 14:54:59

I think you've handled it well; also it's not great for kids to have a games console in their room if you can avoid it.

BTW, the "18 yr old" may of course be much younger, but has lied about his age in order to download 18 rated games, so it may not be as suspicious as you think. But all the same, better safe than sorry.

0dfod Fri 01-Jul-16 14:56:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Stuffofawesome Fri 01-Jul-16 14:58:42

You can report here

ThoraGruntwhistle Fri 01-Jul-16 15:12:20

The problem is that you have no idea whether they're an incredibly misguided person who adds everyone they ever meet to their FB page because they like to look popular, or if they have very bad intentions. They should obviously know better than to try to befriend children over the Internet but would the police act upon you telling them someone tried to add your child on social media?

PotteringAlong Fri 01-Jul-16 15:14:47

You need to report it to the police anyway. You might have stepped in to protect your son, someone else might not.

Ratbagcatbag Fri 01-Jul-16 15:19:00

One thing I will say is that they don't just get added as friends, they have to accept. So your ds accepted the friend request. Something we learned early on with DSS was that they'd add anyone. As such a condition of him having Xbox online was that he actually knew the person he was friends with. We went through his friends list every couple of months and made him cull any ransoms that he couldn't explain (this was at the age 10 -13ish) after that we let him self regulate a bit more.

hellsbellsmelons Fri 01-Jul-16 15:19:41

I'd be handing the details of this '18' YO over the Police as well.
And I'd have been having serious words with said '18' YO.
You handled it well.
I've have gone flippin' mental.
Well done.
And very glad your DS does not have a phone yet.
Very good call.

Ratbagcatbag Fri 01-Jul-16 15:19:57

Ransoms - randoms!!

VinohCollapso Fri 01-Jul-16 15:21:45

You've done exactly the right thing.

Sit down with him to watch Breck Brednar The Murder Games documentary of a young lad who got sucked into a similar online friend situation and met a very tragic and sad end. Seriously. Watch it together.

Hidingtonothing Fri 01-Jul-16 15:22:20

Even if they don't/can't act this time Thora it's information like this which can help build a picture if there are other incidents in the future. As Pottering says others may not step in as quickly if this person is a danger to children and police being able to establish a pattern of behaviour can be the difference between a dangerous person being convicted and not.

giraffesCantReachTheirToes Fri 01-Jul-16 15:22:53


hecallsmebunny Fri 01-Jul-16 15:27:30

You definitely reacted in the right way. It's better to be safe than sorry. I attended an event about digital safety and Breck Bednar's Mum talked about what she witnessed through his online gaming, what she tried to do to stop it and his eventual murder. It was heartbreaking. Not scaremongering or suggesting this might be the case here but think we all need to be aware of how to enable safe online practices for our children. She has set up a charity in his name Also useful stuff on I agree with pp's that reporting to ceop just in case would be worthwhile if you have any details to pass on.

ThoraGruntwhistle Fri 01-Jul-16 15:28:54

Yes, I see what you mean, giving his details is probably the right thing to do. I just didn't think there was anything they could do about someone requesting to add the child, but it's best to act in case it escalates.

pinkladyapple Fri 01-Jul-16 15:30:52

YANBU. An 18 year old wanting to be friends with a 10 year old is definitely weird.

It probably is worth reporting, but I'm not sure there is much to report to the police here. The internet is an amazingly anonymous place and people have the ability to change xbox usernames and emails. It would be very difficult for them to trace this person or even to verify that what you said happened, happened unless they have serious evidence a crime has being committed.

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