Tips on how to stay safe online

Rachel Hogg (left) and Jacqui Rogers of the Hartlepool safeguarding children board team with the display in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre
Rachel Hogg (left) and Jacqui Rogers of the Hartlepool safeguarding children board team with the display in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre

PEOPLE are being reminded of the potential dangers of using the internet.

Hartlepool Borough Council safeguarding staff are offering advice on the importance of staying safe online.

Members of the team are in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre this week reminding youngsters and their parents of dangers lurking on the internet.

The campaign follows hot on the heels of thousands of copies of Ashleigh’s Rules being sent to schoolchildren in the town.

The rules, which are a set of tips for staying safe online, include urging people not to accept anyone on social networking sites who they don’t know and not to trust people who they meet on the internet.

The rules also state that people shouldn’t tell strangers any personal details and should never meet anyone who they don’t know.

Ashleigh’s Rules were set up by the classmates of tragic Darlington 17-year-old Ashleigh Hall, who was killed by Peter Chapman, a stranger who she met online as he posed as a teenage boy.

Jacqui Rogers, safeguarding support officer with Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “Many children and parents are probably still not aware of the risks of engaging with people online.

“At this time of the year there will be lots of families visiting the shopping centre and this is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness of how they can stay safe when using the internet.

“The tragic death of Ashleigh Hall is a constant reminder of the dangers that do exist and during the week we will be distributing Ashleigh’s Rules and giving out other advice.”

Members of the safeguarding team will be in the Arts Hartlepool unit, on the first floor of the shopping centre until Friday, this week.

Anyone who is concerned about someone or something online can also call Childline on 0800 1111 or visit www.CEOP.police.uk.

For more information on the work of Hartlepool safeguarding children board, visit www.lscbhartlepool.org.