Derbyshire County Council and Derbyshire Police are increasingly receiving reports of children and young people accessing inappropriate content and being contacted by unknown individuals using apps and websites which enable video chat. There has also recently been national research published by the Internet Watch Foundation which identified that children and young people as young as seven were being exploited online on webcams and chat sites.
Websites and apps such as Skype, FaceTime, Kik and more, allow users to communicate on webcam or chat with others and can offer amazing opportunities and experiences for children and adults alike when used safely with friends and family members. However speaking on webcam or video chat via apps on tablets and Smartphone's with sometimes unknown and unidentifiable people can leave children and young people vulnerable to online sexual exploitation including grooming and sexual abuse.
Derbyshire Police and Derbyshire County Council are aware that this behaviour is increasingly taking place on video chat apps and websites accessed on tablets and smartphones. Some of these apps have little/ no regulation, child safeguarding approaches or mechanisms for law enforcement to use to trace and identify offenders and therefore a shared approach between children, parents/ carers, professionals and schools/ setting regarding education and awareness about safe online behaviour is essential.
This local and national concern serves as an opportunity for us to remind all children and young people about being safe online and work together in partnership with parents.
Please take time to monitor what apps and websites your child is using. If they are using an app like skype, make sure that only known people are on their contact list. Any sites with chat rooms should also be carefully monitored.
In years 5 and 6 we teach the module ‘Real love Rocks’ a Barnardos resource for schools which we outlined on our parents’ information evening. More information can be found at barnardosrealloverocks.org.uk. Other useful links and advice for parents are available below, one of the most useful is a website called www.thinkyouknow.com but there are many others.
Useful online resources are listed below and available directly via the buttons below:
ThinkUKnow Website: Visit the "Parent/Carer" section and use the "Click CEOP" button to seek advice and report online abuse
ChildnetVisit: the 'Parent/Carers section for information and advice regarding Webchat and Webcam apps
GetSafeOnline: Up-to-date security advice e.g. passwords and hacking
Online Safety Advice from Internet ProvidersInformation about online safety for parents from BT, Sky, Talk Talk and Virgin
Share Aware Campaign NSPCC: NSPCC's Share Aware campaign provides information for parents about online safety.
Social Networking Apps Guidance: NSPCC Guide for parents/carers about popular social networking apps
Safety Tools: Parents guides to safety tools on popular devices and signposts report mechanisms for commonly used websites
Derbyshire Police Internet Safety Guidance: Guidance from Derbyshire Police
Reporting to CEOP
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection command allows individuals to directly report any instances of online abuse or concerning online activity directly to a child protection officer for investigation. This can be reported using the web link below:
Other Useful Documents:
Please find attached a number of additional downloadable documents which provide additional support and information on specific internet and e-safety issues.