With many young people set to receive laptops, computers and games consoles this Christmas, officers are visiting schools to promote how to stay safe online.
Young girl looking at image on a laptop
With many children set to receive laptops, computers and games consoles this Christmas, officers from South Wales Police are visiting schools to promote how to be safe online.
The Internet presents many dangers to children and officers from the force’s public protection unit have been taking proactive steps to both educate and protect young people.
The concerns come with an increasing number of young people, in-particular teenagers, using the web to access adult material.
Officers are visiting classrooms and presenting at school assemblies about the issues associated with “sexting” (the sending of sexually explicit photographs or messages) and communicating with strangers who may not be whom they seem.
Lesson delivered to Yr 11 pupils: http://youtu.be/sayHRbw3A8o
Lesson delivered to Yr 9 pupils: http://youtu.be/rBAB8uVNbCE
They are also being warned about the consequences of posting personal details online, and to be wary of strangers when using social media sites. These lessons are supported by A Guide to Staying Safe Online (0 downloads) with advice for young people and parents.
Det Insp Brian Heard, from the forces public protection department who recently visited Bishopston Comprehensive School in Swansea said:
“With Christmas coming and many young children about to receive their new laptops, PS4s, XBOX One and 3DSs’ it is important to make sure they do not put themselves at risk”
Officers hope to visit as many schools as possible throughout December, but will also continue to spread the message well into the New Year. They will also be targeting younger school children who are equally at risk.
Det Insp Heard added:
“Children are becoming computer literate at an earlier age and are happening upon adult content far more regularly than we would like.
“This is because children today have regular access to the net and its use very often goes un-moderated. Most nine and 10-year-olds already have access to Xbox, mobile phones and iPads and admit to chatting with people they don’t know on gaming sites and apps.
“Clearly this poses risk. Children should never give out personal details, or anything which might identify them.
“Underage children in-particular should stay away from age-restricted online games. Names, addresses and phone numbers should never be given out and nicknames should be used to protect personal details.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales, Alun Michael, who as a Member of Parliament ran a number of events to highlight the importance of educating children and young people – as well as their families – on internet safety, said:
“This is an important issue for everyone. During the festive period many children and young people will be receiving new phones, tablets and consoles – all connected to the internet. It’s vital for them to feel safe and to be safe, but it can be a bit of an uphill battle. It’s often the children who show their parents, or grandparents, how to do things online rather than the other way around. The efforts of South Wales Police to get these messages across are very welcome – as well as the range of great resources and advice available such as the Get Safe Online website”
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), has also set up a website which allows children, as well as parents and careers, to report any suspicious activity.
For more information, please visit CEOP website