Police and internet gurus hold session in South Shields on cybersafety

South Tynesiders were invited to step into the digital world to find out more on how to stay safe online.

Wednesday, 7th February 2018, 5:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 7th February 2018, 10:45 am
The session was held at The Word.

Police joined forces with ‘gurus’ from phone company O2 to host a drop-in event at The Word, in South Shields, where people could ask questions on how to help safeguard youngsters when they take a trip into cyberspace.

The session was organised as part of Internet Safety Day and was attended by people of all ages.

Pupils from St Gregory’s Primary School also came along to the event, taking part in a robot programming exercise and trying out virtual reality headsets.

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Student Harry McMullen, 11, said: “We have been helping to program a robot and learning about how to stay safe on the internet.

“We have been told about an app called Netaware which has been reviewed by children and adults about various games.

“I’m already really safe when I’m on the internet but I have still learned a lot. The VR was really fun.”

Recent figures by police reveal almost four-in-five 12-15-year-olds and one-in-three eight-to-11 year-olds own a mobile phone.

O2’s Jim Cameron said: “We have a partnership with the NSPCC. The NSPCC looks after the welfare side of things highlighting cyber bullying and grooming, and provides a helpline parents and children can call.

The gurus are for the techinical aspect of it. Technology can be fun and exciting and we want to try and keep children safe when they explore it.

“The day has been fantastic.”

Community engagement officer with the police, Richie Miles, said: “It has been a really good day. We have had lots of people come in with a variety of concerns regarding the internet and social media sites and we have been able to talk to them, give them advice on the safeguards they can take, but also how they can raise the conversation of internet safety with their children.”

For information and advice on online safety call 0808 800 5002. For a chat with an O2 guru visit o2.co.uk/guru