Although such reports are rare, the fact that children could be potentially distressed or exploited while they are online is cause for concern.
There are many benefits to using the Internet however it is a worrying fact that the Internet is also used by people who do not have the best interests of children and teenagers at heart.
Being approached by a stranger online who poses as a friend can be distressing for the teenager or child and their families, and can lead to unwanted attention such as phone calls, sexual advances and offers to meet with the child or teenager.
For allegations of a criminal nature relating to the use of the Internet, the States of Jersey Police have a number of specially trained ‘Internet Investigation Officers’ that in addition to their work in the investigation of offences in Jersey and the collation of related intelligence, will also liaise with other jurisdictions and police forces worldwide in order to assist in the global fight against Internet Crime.
The States of Jersey Police would therefore encourage the reporting of any unusual activity in this area that may be concerning parents, teenagers and children alike.
In addition, the States of Jersey Police have worked with the CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) based in the Home Office (London) to come up with the following guidelines for parents:
The importance of parents working with their children and taking an interest in their on-line activities cannot be over-estimated. This useful tool is another way in which parents can help educate themselves in this regard, an understanding that will undoubtedly help in this overall approach. Another good website, parentinfo.org offers a breakdown of general online teen speak and the NSPCC net-aware.org.uk also offers help in understanding all the sites, apps and games that kids use the most.
Get involved with your child from a young age, help set some boundaries and rules and try out the technology that your child is using. Ensure that you know how to use parental controls and that you have access to up-to-date software to help keep children safe on-line. Most importantly however, talk regularly with your child about their and your on-line lives. Show that you understand how important technology is to them and talk about its benefits, however don’t be nervous about things such as responsible online behaviour for example bullying.
Further information and advice can also be found at www.getsafeonline.org
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