More than 1m people watched Kayleigh’s Love Story within the first 24 hours of the film being posted online.
The film, about the last two weeks of the life of 15-year-old Measham schoolgirl Kayleigh Haywood, was posted on Leicestershire Police force’s website and Facebook page at 9am yesterday morning (Tuesday, January 3).
In the early hours of this morning the 1m mark was reached, and total viewing figures (as of 8am) stood at 1.3m, with a total reach of three million.
Shot over five days in February last year by Affixxius Films of Loughborough, the five and a half minute short has until today only been shown to schoolchildren aged 11 and above in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland in controlled screenings by specially-trained officers. Between September 21 and the end of December, a total of 37,000 children had watched the film, some 35 of whom have come forward with “disclosures” which are now actively being investigated.
The film is also available to watch online in eight different versions, including a signed version, and audio described version and versions translated into five different languages.
Kayleigh Haywood began speaking to Luke Harlow, a man she had never met, on October 31, 2015.
Over the course of 13 days they exchanged 2643 messages. Harlow told the 15-year-old all the things many teenage girls want to hear. He told her she was beautiful, how much he cared for her and that she was special.
Harlow was grooming Kayleigh, along with two other young girls he had also been speaking to. But it was Kayleigh that finally agreed to his requests to spend the night of Friday 13 November 2015 at his house.
She spent the next day with him too, and in the early hours of Sunday, November, 15 having been held against her will by Harlow and by his next door neighbour Stephen Beadman, Kayleigh was raped and murdered by Beadman.
The film has been made with the support of Kayleigh’s family and comes with a warning that if it was to be screened in cinemas, it would have a 15 rating.