Dear parents and carers
We have been asked to pass on the attached letter by the police and the safety advice below. At this time of year when parents are considering buying or upgrading mobile phones for their children you may find this link useful as it contains lots of information about how to protect children on their smartphones
Crime Prevention Advice
With Christmas approaching children may receive digital devices such as games consoles, smartphones and tablets as a gifts, it is the perfect time encourage parents to discuss the safe and responsible use of these devices their your children. Recent news stories, including one from the BBC, highlights the increasing concerns Police have about child sexual exploitation through social media http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42224148
Through their devices, children are exposed risks other than exploitation, in particular, access to content that would be inappropriate, and potentially harmful, for them to view. It is important that parents make their children aware of the importance of behaving and responding in a safe and responsible way online.
To support parents with having conversations of this nature with their children, and set up robust parental controls, CEOP (Child Exploitation Online Protection) provide a range of materials, games and videos for children and parents within their ThinkuKnow website which focuses on staying safe online: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/
Additional support is provided by the NSPCC: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/
Hampshire Police advise that If you receive images or videos of a sexual nature on Snapchat, Instagram, Whatsapp or any other social media, which features children or young people, these should be deleted immediately and reported to the Police on the non-emergency 101 telephone number.
In cases where a child reports to have received images or videos from an adult online which are of a nude or sexual nature. Switch off the device and call Police on 101 for advice.
Many people are still unaware that showing or sharing such images or videos with others could mean they are committing a crime. However, if a genuine mistake is made, it would be treated as such by the Police.