STAFFORDSHIRE’S Police and Crime Commissioner has enthusiastically welcomed a new raft of Government measures to help to keep children in Tamworth safer online.
Matthew Ellis has consistently called for organisations to work more effectively together to tackle all forms of sexual exploitation of children in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. But he says that Government plans will help immensely by closing a longstanding loophole so it will be a crime for individuals to ask children to send them explicit pictures online or by text – doing so could result in up to two years in prison.
The Commissioner said: “The world is changing fast in terms of technology and social networking. But so is crime, including online abuse. Keeping children safe from predatory sex pests is the prime responsibility of families but Authorities have a big part to play too.
“Closing this loophole to make it illegal to solicit explicit pictures from children is important and sends another clear message to those who would be part of this fowl behaviour. The risks to youngsters online are not understood by many parents and that is potentially a dangerous situation.
“It’s vital that the message about online security and staying safe continues to be promoted far and wide. It’s also important that the capacity of law enforcement agencies to use technology to track down abusers is strengthened.
“The technology strategy we are developing with Staffordshire Police is probably the most ambitious in the country and will result in ‘intelligence supremacy’ for the police in a way which will help turn the tables in favour of law enforcement. This, while national security services are strengthening their ability to keep up with the international challenges.”
Four months ago the Office of the PCC (OPCC) developed and launched a new app in Staffordshire for kids to use on smartphones and tablets. After winning each round of Kash Dash online safety messages are received by the player. Since its launch over 10,000 safety messages have been sent out and the app has been downloaded 4,000 times.
Kash Dash can be downloaded for free on Android and Apple via http://bit.ly/kashdash or by searching ‘KASH DASH’ on online stores.