New child protection website launched

For the first time, children as young as eight years old are the focus of an online safety programme launched by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre – the police organisation dedicated to tackling child sex abuse.

Nov 1, 2007
By Paul Jacques
South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Lauren Poultney with Chief Inspector Jayne Forrest and OK9 Wellbeing dog Buddy with their Leadership award.

For the first time, children as young as eight years old are the focus of an online safety programme launched by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre – the police organisation dedicated to tackling child sex abuse.

The programme, thinkuknow.co.uk/cybercafe, has been developed with Becta, which spearheads the Government’s national drive for e-learning. It focuses on a state-of-the-art cybercafe where children between the ages of 8-11 years can learn about different aspects of online safety.

Parents can also find help by visiting thinkuknow.co.uk/parents which explains the different ways in which children are using the Internet, as well as giving practical advice on how to protect them, and provides useful first-warning signs in how the behaviour of young people may change if they are being targeted by offenders.

Jim Gamble, chief executive of the CEOP Centre, said: “What we have learnt from children and teachers alike is that children as young as eight are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their use of the Internet.

“But where the natural, innocent naivety of children collides with the open and often unrestricted nature of the virtual world, then their safety is always going to be called into question.

“We see that danger first hand all the time. At CEOP we receive on average ten reports a month relating specifically to children between the ages of 8-11 years.

“That should concern us all. And yet we know from OFCOM that over 40 per cent of this age group are regularly using the Internet and 7 per cent of 10-year-olds even have their own webcams. That trend is growing.”

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