05/02/2016

Protecting our Children and Young People - Safer Internet Day 2016

Police and partners are asking parents and carers to play their part in keeping children safe while using the internet.

Safer Internet Day 2016

Safer Internet Day (SID) 2016 is on Tuesday 9th February 2016 with the theme ‘Play your part for a better internet’, offering the opportunity to focus on both the creative and positive things that children and young people are doing online, as well as the role that we all play in helping to create a better internet.

Safer Internet Day is organised in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre in February of each year to promote the safe and responsible use of online technology and mobile phones for children and young people.

Cleveland Police and the four Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) urge everyone in the community to keep youngsters safe while online.

Detective Constable Iain Pearson from Cleveland Police’s POLIT (Paedophile Online Investigation Team) will also be on hand to advise members of the public how to keep themselves and their children safe online via a web chat on the day (Tuesday 9th February) at 1pm. 

Anyone who wants to take follow or even take part in the web chat and submit a question on safe internet use should log on to www.gazettelive.co.uk

DC Pearson will be joined by Independent Chair of the Middlesbrough LSCB and ex-senior Cleveland Police officer, Mark Braithwaite.

Mark has also written to the Head Teacher of every school in Middlesbrough to confirm the Board’s support for the initiative and to signpost education professionals to organisations which can provide further information and support.

DC Pearson said: “Safer Internet Day allows police and partners another valuable opportunity to remind parents, carers and those who work with children and young people about how everyone can and must play their part in keeping youngsters safe online.

“Cleveland Police has its dedicated unit tackling online grooming which has built up a team of specialists with the knowledge and expertise to recognise this type of offending.

“We want to continue to raise awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), and offer young people, parents and carers, and others who work with children and young people advice on identifying when exploitation may be taking place and how to report it.

“While we can never prevent all online grooming taking place, initiatives like Safer Internet Day allow us to help reduce the number of cases by raising awareness so that children, parents and professionals can recognise when it is potentially happening and stop it before it does.”

Mark added: “It is great that the Evening Gazette has offered to host our web chat and I hope readers and the wider public will get involved. 

“Technology is changing at an ever-increasing pace and we want to empower parents and carers to do all they can to keep young people safe.”