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Police get set to hold web chat with parents to help keep kids safe online

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger.
Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger.

Parents concerned about keeping their kids safe online can speak to police during a web chat aiming to answer questions the subject.

Cleveland Police will be educating children and their parents on safe use of online technology as they show supporting the National Safer Internet Day taking place tomorrow, February 6.

Safer Internet Day is organised by the UK Safer Internet Centre every February to promote the safe and responsible use of online technology and mobile phones for children and young people.

The campaign is supported centrally by the National Crime Agency-Child Exploitation and Online Protection (NCA-CEOP) Command and locally by the UK’s police forces.

As part of this, Detective Constable Ian Turnbull from Cleveland Police’s Cybercrime Unit and Detective Sergeant Steve Williams-Reader from POLIT are hosting an hour-long web chat from 1.30pm tomorrow, aimed at parents to ensure they are aware of what to look out for when their children are online.

During the chat the force will be answering questions and offering advice on keeping children and young people safe while using the internet.

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said: “We have invested in creating a first-class Cybercrime Unit with additional officers and a specially adapted Cybercrime van enabling us to quickly assess systems whilst still in situ on the premises.

"This massively reduces time and effort in analysing data, and we have made a concerted effort to ensure this type of crime which has increased significantly over the last couple of years has the resources in place to deal with it effectively.”

Officers from the Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) will also be visiting children in years 5 and 6 in primary schools in the area to give them first-hand information on how they can stay safe whilst using the internet and their phones.

Det Sgt Steve Bell said: “Safer Internet Day is a great initiative and it gives parents and carers a really useful opportunity to learn more about keeping their children and charges safe.

“The internet can be a great asset but children and young people can be vulnerable to exploitation and grooming as well as other crimes.

“It’s in everyone’s interest to learn more about how to stay safe online and the web chat tomorrow will allow parents to raise any concerns and ask the questions that are important to ensure their children are kept safe.

“These could range from information on useful websites to how to take part in live gaming safely as well as others.

"Whatever you ask, we’ll be happy to help.”

Members of the public can learn more about Safer Internet Day 2018 on UK Safer Internet Centre website.

Anyone who wants to follow or even take part in the web chat and submit a question on safe internet use should log on from 1.30pm to: https://www.cleveland.police.uk/get-involved/community-click.aspx