News

Force supports Safer Internet Day

09 Feb 2015 10:29 AM

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Neighbourhood teams across the force are hosting events as Northumbria Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird support Safer Internet Day.

Tuesday, February 10, is European Safer Internet Day, which aims to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially amongst children and young people.

Events include:

- Ashington Neighbourhood Policing Team giving inputs at Hirst Middle School and Grace Darling Campus.

- Officers at Boldon Neighbourhood Policing Team giving inputs to local schools.

- Local officers working with Gateshead College, with three stalls on the day staffed by students and Police Community Support Officers.

- Newcastle police cadets hosting an online forum for young people between 6pm and 7pm.

- An assembly at Ponteland Middle School regarding internet safety.

- Local officers in Morpeth visiting local primary schools throughout the week.

Northumbria Police Detective Chief Inspector John Bent said: "The internet is an invaluable resource for people of all ages but for younger generations it's something which is used every day.

"However, the internet is open to abuse because sometimes there's little regulation or accountability. So it's vital users are aware of the potential dangers so we can all use the internet safely and responsibly.  

"Events such as Safer Internet Day ensure awareness is raised about the tools available to ensure proper education about the internet for parents and grandparents and at the same time, ensure children use it safely.

"Parents should talk to their children about their use of the internet. There are also technology solutions available which ensure parents can monitor what their children are doing online. If parents are worried in any way, they should contact police."  

The Commissioner Vera Baird said: "E-safety is essential for everyone, especially younger people who use the internet so much in their day to day lives and it's vital they understand the potential dangers involved with online technology.

"While I know this day will heighten awareness of issues surrounding the internet and social networks it is a good reminder that every day people should promote safety to help prevent them becoming a victim of crime when using their phones, computers or tablets."

Northumbria Police offers the following advice for parents on how to make sure their child remains safe when using the internet:

  • Everyone they meet online is a stranger, even though they might seem like a friend. They should always tell you if they make contact with, or are contacted by, anyone on the internet.

  • They should always use a nickname when logging on and never give out personal details like their full name, home or school address, telephone number, personal email or mobile number.  This information could let someone they meet online contact them.

  • Accepting emails or opening files from people they don't really know, can get them into trouble as they can contain nasty viruses, messages or links to things they don't want to see.

  • They should talk to you or another trusted adult they know well and ask for help if they're worried or upset about anything they've seen or been sent online.

Further information can also be found on our Ebeat site - www.ebeat.org.uk

Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre, the day involves hundreds of organisations across the world get involved in helping to promote safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.

More on the Safer Internet Centre and Safer Internet Day can be found at www.saferinternet.org.