Breck’s Last Game raises awareness of online grooming and is available here.
As technology evolves, the internet provides new challenges as well as new opportunities. Rather than blocking, filtering, and avoiding online services for children for fear of potential risks, the Southend Safeguarding Partnership (Children) (SSPC) instead works to identify strategies and promote initiatives that can help children avoid online exploitation, abuse, or bullying. Issues affecting online safety can be placed in one of four broad categories:
Contact, which may be inappropriate or unwelcome, and can include grooming, arranging to meet strangers, or online exploitation.
Conduct, which can include cyber-bullying, exposure to material that incites violence or hatred, incitement to dangerous activities, and other online antisocial behaviour.
Content, which may include exposure to age-inappropriate or socially unacceptable material and can include images and video uploaded by others or by the user themselves.
Commerce, which can include gambling, inappropriate commercial advertising, phishing, identity theft, or other online scams.
The specific risks facing children and young people online can vary according to individual usage, but the Home Office Task Force on Child Protection has identified the following as potential threats:
Bullying by peers and people they consider ‘friends’
Exposure to inappropriate or harmful content
Involvement in illegal or inappropriate content
Posting personal information that can identify and locate a child/young person offline
Sexual grooming, luring, exploitation, and abuse through contact with strangers
Exposure to information and interaction with others who encourage self-harm
Exposure to racist or hate material
Glorifying activities such as drug use or excessive drinking
Physical harm to young people in making video content, such as enacting and imitating stunts and risk taking activities
Leaving or running away from home as a result of contact made online
The SSPC also assists its partner agencies to develop workable eSafety policies for use in their own workplaces, and aims to respond quickly to the changing face of online risk.
For more information and support, visit the Think U Know website: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/