Northamptonshire councils join forces with police on Safer Internet Day 2022 to promote online safety

The trio hopes to raise awareness of how young people can stay safe in a world of social media and gaming

By Max Pearson
Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 9:15 am
As young people make connections sometimes internationally online staying safe has never been more important.
As young people make connections sometimes internationally online staying safe has never been more important.

West Northamptonshire Council has joined forces with North Northamptonshire and Northamptonshire Police to protect children and young people as part of Safer Internet Day 2022 on February 8.

With the likes of TikTok and Fortnite 'more popular than ever', the coalition said that keeping children protected while online is seen as increasingly important.

Together they are aiming to support children and young people, with an event focused on healthy relationships, mental health and wellbeing for the national Safer Internet Day 2022.

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Event organisers said they have experts on hand to answer queries on how to maximise internet safeguarding.

Parents, professionals and teachers are invited to ask anything about safeguarding children and young people online on an Instagram Q&A session.

There will also be advice given by expert speakers about gangs, child sexual exploitation, peer on peer abuse and digital resilience, all delivered in presentations via Zoom.

Councillor Scott Edwards, North Northamptonshire Council’s executive member for Children, Families, Education and Skills, said: “The internet is constantly evolving and it’s hard to keep up to date with the rapid pace of change, so I think we all have questions about what is safe online and what isn’t.

“I’m delighted that such a dedicated panel of experts has been assembled to offer their advice and I’m pleased that we have been able to work with our partners to support this important issue.”

Councillor Fiona Baker, WNC’s Cabinet Member for children, families and education, added: “The lines between the virtual and real world continue to blur and if we want young people to thrive, we need to educate them and those who look after them, about the rights and wrongs of going online.

“It’s no different these days to road safety, only it’s the green cross code of the internet.”

A Northamptonshire Police spokeswoman, continued: “Online safety is a really important subject and Safer Internet Day is therefore a great opportunity for parents and guardians to speak with their children about the importance of staying safe online.

“As police officers, we know all too well the dangers that exist online and in fact, have a team dedicated to investigating illegal behaviour and individuals who would look to use the internet in order to target and groom children.

“It’s so important to make your children aware of these dangers by starting open conversations early on that build trust and rely on mutual understanding as opposed to restrictions and secret-keeping.”

Simon Aston – the county’s online safety and wellbeing officer will be answering queries from 4pm on Monday, February 7. Search for @ncccybersafe on Instagram to take part.

On Safer Internet Day itself – Tuesday, February 8 - people will be invited to take part in a dedicated Webinar for anyone who works with young people and children.

People can also show their support for Safer Internet Day and obtain resources for schools or organisations by signing up to the UK Safer Internet Centre.

Anyone who would like to find out more information about booking on to the event can go to Eventbrite.