Online Safety Campaign In Portsmouth

The Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Board (PSCB) is launching a major campaign this week to help children in Portsmouth stay safe online.

The 'Safety Online' campaign which includes roadshows, competitions and a conference for teachers and other professionals working with children, will promote safety online messages across the city throughout the spring.      

Chairman of the PSCB Jimmy Doyle said: "The internet is a great way for children to learn and have fun. But it is also vital that children stay safe when online. We know that they face many potential risks from the internet such as cyber-bullying, harmful content and fraud. 

"Our 'Safety Online' campaign therefore is about making sure that parents and other adults working with children in Portsmouth know the simple steps they can take to protect children when they are connected online."

The 'Safety Online' campaign will include awareness raising events for parents, carers and children and young people and the first public event is a free drop-in session this Saturday (March 10) in Southsea Library, Palmerston Road. Parents, carers and their children are invited to come along to the library from 11am to 2pm when they will be able to get information and advice about staying safe online.

From next week, all nine city libraries will be promoting information about safety online and specially trained staff will be available to answers questions and give further information.    

The campaign will also include roadshows in the Easter school holidays, competitions for pupils and free training courses for parents, grandparents and carers at The Learning Place, North End.

Annie Gunthorpe headteacher at Westover Primary School has been on the working party that drafted the strategy and she said: "Many headteachers across Portsmouth have concerns about how children and young people are using aspects of the internet. 

"One of our main concerns for example is the use of social media sites. We are finding that children are signing up to sites younger than ever before but they have no idea about privacy settings or what personal information is inappropriate to share on the internet. We are also finding that very often parents don't know or understand what their children are doing online. 

"I hope this campaign therefore will begin to provide the information and resources that people need to help children stay safe online."