Young People Educated on Internet Safety
February 7, 2018
‘Internet Safety Day’ officially designated as Tuesday 6 February, was marked in schools across Lisburn & Castlereagh by the delivery of an interactive play to highlight the dangers of using the web inappropriately. The play, which was hosted by Lisburn & Castlereagh Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), local police and Lisburn YMCA, was delivered on the 5, 6 and 7 February. Due to the widespread use of social media among our young people, the play is critical in highlighting the dangers associated with inappropriate use of the internet. It portrayed the dangers of making friends on line, grooming and sexting and the use of social media generally. It was shown to Years 8, 9 and 10 pupils from Dundonald High, Lagan College, St Patrick`s Academy, Laurel Hill College, Friends School and Lisnagarvey High. As a true indicator of how younger children are now making more use of the internet, a number of primary schools from across the council area also took up the invitation to view the play. The primary schools involved were Tor Bank School, Brooklands, St Joseph`s Lisburn, St Aloysius, Ballycarrickmaddy and St Joseph`s, Carryduff. A question and answer session followed each of the plays with representatives from the PSNI, YMCA and NSPCC offering their professional advice to the students.
Commenting on the success of the Internet Safety Play, Lisburn & Castlereagh PCSP Chairman, Councillor Aaron McIntyre said “I am encouraged that 12 schools from across the council area took up the opportunity for their pupils to attend this important play and for the professional advice on offer from the police, YMCA and NSPCC. There are genuine concerns to be addressed regarding online safety and protecting our young people. I hope that everyone who saw the play and was involved in the discussions have now an increased awareness of the importance of protecting their identities and knowing who they are talking to when online.”
Chief Inspector Lorraine Dobson, Lisburn & Castlereagh PSNI commented, “It is vitally important that all children and young people pause to give serious thought to what they are doing online. We all deserve to be able to use the internet to learn, explore and connect with each other. But all of us need to be aware of the risks involved in doing so, especially on social media. We are pleased that so many schools came together to look at this issue.”
Jenny Magee from Lisburn YMCA commented,” It is encouraging to see so many schools and pupils engaging with the vital issue of online safety. By using a live drama production alongside the discussion and advice of professionals allows us to engage pupils on the issue in a unique way and ensure the important messages are heard by everyone.”
Colin Reid, Policy and Public Affairs Manager from NSPCC said,” This play is a great way of helping young people keep safe online. The internet is an amazing place for young people to learn, create and build friendships so it`s vital their online world is a safe one. We all have a responsibility to ensure children are kept safe online so they can enjoy the positives without being exposed to risks including inappropriate content or online abuse.”
If you are interested in finding out more about internet safety you should make contact with either the PCSP on Tel 028 9250 9279/284/374 or firstname.lastname@example.org, PSNI on Tel 101 or the NSPCC website or Childline 24 hours a day seven days a week on Tel 0800 1111 or at www.childline.org.uk