Protecting children and young people is everyone’s business14 July, 2020
We all have a part to play in keeping our children and young people safe from harm. That’s the message from Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw. As the pandemic goes on and the summer holidays are about to begin, young people will continue to spend more time online and within their family homes.
Whilst technology offers fantastic opportunities for young people to learn or keep in touch with family and friends, it also exposes them to dangers they may not be aware of or too young to understand. Combined with this, children will have less contact with people outside of their family so it may be more difficult for them to raise any concerns they may have, whether that be around something they have experienced online, out and about or within the family home.
Mr Grunshaw said: “Children and young people can be particularly vulnerable at the moment and we need to make sure that we do all we can to support them if they are affected by any type of crime.”
“Lancashire Police continue to work hard to tackle crime across Lancashire so if you are affected or if you a worried about a young person’s safety please report it.
“Young people who have experienced abuse online, witnessed or experienced abuse in their own home or have been victim of any other type of crime can access specialist support from Nest Lancashire. From speaking to people who have used the service, I know first-hand the positive impact it can have on a young person’s life and their family and I would encourage anyone who needs support to get in touch.
“We also need to highlight that education plays a key part in ensuring that young people don’t fall victim to crime in the first place. The Think You Know website provides lots of useful resources around online safety broken down by age group. We must have these conversations with our children from a young age to educate them around staying safe online and the resource available are here to support that.
“It is clear that the pandemic is putting huge pressures on families with everyone spending more time at home, financial worries and fears around the virus building up. The NSPCC website has useful information to help both children and adults to cope with the changes the pandemic has brought about. If you or your child are struggling or you are worried about someone you know, please take a look.”
“We can all do our bit to support young people in Lancashire by sharing these messages and by raising awareness of the information and support available. Thank you for your support.”
DCI Mike Gladwin from Lancashire Constabulary’s Public Protection Unit added: “It’s really important for parents to talk with their children about the potential risks they can be exposed to online.
“On top of a wealth of information available on the NSPCC website, we also have a dedicated section aimed at child safety on our website, which you can visit here: https://www.lancashire.police.uk/help-advice/child-safety/
Young people aged 8 to 18 affected by crime bullying or harassment can contact Nest Lancashire on 0300 111 0323 or by texting NEST and their number to 60777. Online safety and support resources can be found at thinkuknow.co.uk and nspcc.org.uk.