Ulster Unionist Assembly Member for East Antrim, Roy Beggs MLA, has urged the uptake of child ‘sexting’ advice campaign from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command, a branch of National Crime Agency (NCA).
Mr Beggs, said:
“I would urge all teachers, parents and young people to check out the ‘Think U Know’ child sexting advice which has been recently launched. With the recent tragedy of a young person being drawn in and then blackmailed by international criminals, this is an aspect of the internet that we all should be aware of. The campaign is a welcome development in the ever-changing and constantly challenging area of online protection for children. The new website is another tool in the armoury for parents and teachers, but more importantly, it is also aimed at young people themselves. The “Think U Know” website is designed to ensure that everyone and particularly young people are aware of not only online dangers, but have access to constructive advice on the matter. Information on the campaign can be found at http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/, and I would encourage everyone to visit the website to make themselves familiar with the information it makes available.
“Not enough is being done locally to protect children online. Northern Ireland Executive under the leadership of OFMdFM has been dragging their feet on the issue for too long. For over two years, my Ulster Unionist colleague Sandra Overend MLA has been lobbying the First and deputy First Minister to ask them bring forward a cross-departmental online safety strategy. Despite a number of platitudes and sound bites from OFMdFM, no action has been taken. This is simply unacceptable. Recent events in Northern Ireland present clear – if tragic – reminders of online dangers, with the most heart-breaking of consequences.
“It is vital that OFMdFM acts immediately to take the lead in bringing forward an online safety strategy for all local services, to ensure that children throughout Northern Ireland are given the fullest possible protection and advice when using the internet.”