…and spare a thought for the teach­ers

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - ROUNDABOUT -

PREDA­TORY adults are not the only dan­gers faced by young peo­ple on the web.

The po­lice posters also em­pha­sise the dan­gers of send­ing in­for­ma­tion and pho­to­graphs over the In­ter­net and warn car­ers that they never know who is watch­ing over a web cam.

One in­ci­dent in­volved a teenage boy who sent an im­age of him­self in the nude to a girl he had met over the In­ter­net.

Em­bar­rass­ingly, he then re­alised the girl was at the same school as his girl­friend.

“He had sent a pic­ture of him­self naked to some­body he had never met,” said PC Carter.

“You don’t know what they’re go­ing to do with it.”

Video clips of fights have also been an is­sue, as has il­le­gal con­tent and cy­ber bul­ly­ing.

And it’s not only young peo­ple who are in­volved.

“Teach­ers are suf­fer­ing,” said PC Carter. “You’ve got th­ese sites where they can be ‘rated’ – they’re be­ing bul­lied through com­ments be­ing put on there. “It is a huge prob­lem.” He com­pared the is­sue to ed­u­cat­ing par­ents and teach­ers about drugs.

“Par­ents can make a dif­fer­ence. They need to take an in­ter­est and be there to help and pro­tect their chil­dren. Fil­ter­ing and block­ing soft­ware should be put in place and par­ents should think about where the com­puter is placed.

“Too many chil­dren have an un­pro­tected com­puter and web cam, of­ten to be found in their bed­room where they are un­su­per­vised.

“Al­though we are con­cerned about young peo­ple be­ing vic­tims of web of­fences, un­for­tu­nately cy­ber bul­ly­ing is a grow­ing trend and young peo­ple need to know that send­ing threat­en­ing or abu­sive texts or emails is a crime and that they can be held to ac­count.

“Many young peo­ple think that they can’t be traced when send­ing this type of mes­sage but they are not anony­mous.”

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