Detectives are investigating reports of teenagers in the Seahaven area being tricked and blackmailed into sending inappropriate images online.
A number of teenagers, mainly boys aged from 13 to 17, in Seaford, Newhaven, Peacehaven and the surrounding areas have been approached through social media possibly since May.
They were contacted by someone calling themselves Jenny Lane or jennylane1994, who claimed to be a 19- to 20-year-old woman from Essex who was moving to Brighton. This person then requested or shared inappropriate images with them.
DC Steve Shimmons, who is leading the investigation, said, “This person has used an array of social media, including Facebook and Skype, to contact teenagers and has sent out more than 100 friend requests.
“So far 10 young people have come forward to say they have been contacted; two of them reporting that they were threatened with having images posted online if they did not send further inappropriate images.
“We are keen to speak to anyone who has been contacted on social media by someone purporting to be Jenny Lane.
“If you have been approached but haven’t yet spoken to the police, please contact us.
“We understand that it may be difficult to come forward but we can assure you that you will be supported and your report will be treated sensitively.
“This is a serious offence that we believe has impacted on a large number of people.
“We are liaising closely with local schools which are aware of the situation and are supporting the investigation.
“If you have been contacted or have any information please talk to a teacher or contact police on 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting Operation Insight or serial 1218 09/08.”
A 29-year-old man from Newhaven was arrested by police on October 6 on suspicion of possessing indecent images and blackmail.
He has been bailed until April 5 next year while investigations continue.