PCC urges parents to take online safety steps

Wednesday, 9th March 2016

STAFFORDSHIRE’S Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis is urging Tamworth parents to take simple steps to help their children stay safe online.

The Commissioner has sent information to every household across the county and Stoke-on-Trent with council tax bills about how the public money he holds is spent on behalf of local people.

This year’s leaflets also contain advice about staying safe online along with hard-hitting facts like: 60% of 13-year-olds have been asked for a sexual picture or video of themselves, one in three of a child’s social networking friends are people they’ve never met and 75% per cent of parents don’t know how to keep their children safe online.

Details about how parents and young people can help prevent the sexual exploitation of children (CSE) through the brand-new website www.knowaboutcse.co.uk are also included in the leaflets.

Mr Ellis said:

“It seems sensible to include safety advice in the council tax leaflets as this is a good and cost effective way to get important messages out to over a million people.

“Taking simple steps to improve online safety is crucial to reducing the risk of the sexual exploitation of children. The leaflets contain information which could help thousands of parents find practical ways to protect their children such as encouraging them to say ‘no’ to ‘sexting’. Sexual exploitation wrecks children’s lives, but it’s not always an easy thing to spot – unless you know what to look for.”

stay sae onlineThe leaflets from the Police and Crime Commissioner also give people the chance to have their say on key issues such as online security, legal highs and how the police are funded at http://www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/have-your-say/

The Commissioner is giving residents the opportunity to give their views as part of his ambition to make Staffordshire the most open and transparent police force in the country.

Mr Ellis said: “I want to hear the views of people in Tamworth on some national and some local issues such as which is more important to them – security or privacy – as well as questions to find out more about the impact in Staffordshire of so-called ‘legal highs’, which can contain illegal substances and are unpredictable. Go to the website, have your say, I’d be really interested to hear from you.”

The leaflets give a break-down of the police and community safety portion of council tax for 2016/17 and explain why the Commissioner has again refused to increase this.

“We must continue to get the most out of every pound spent, to ensure policing in Staffordshire is effective and efficient,” said Mr Ellis.

Information about the new Victim Gateway for Staffordshire and how people can get involved in new Safer Neighbourhood Panels to shape policing in their area are also included in the leaflets which will be delivered over the next few weeks.

People can find out more about keeping themselves and their children safe online at http://www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/online-safety/