Gwent Police is joining forces with local education authorities to warn parents about the dangers that lurk online. 

It comes following an increase in the number of reports of children sharing indecent images online. 

Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, going online has become a way of life. It’s where we all learn, work and socialise. For children, going online is the new classroom, playground or play date. Sadly, there are people out there that take advantage of this and pray on the young.

Gwent Police, with its’ partners, is launching a new campaign with the simple message to parents; stop what you are doing; talk to your children about staying safe online; and protect them from harm. 

Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman said:

“Going online is a way of life, since the start of the current health crisis more and more of us have been using social media and mobile apps to communicate.

“For children, it has replaced meeting up with friends and schoolmates. Sadly, this is when a small minority of people takes advantage of children, leading to devastating consequences

“Parents have an important part to play. By recognising the signs and talking to their children, parents are the best way of protecting children from online harm or exploitation.”

To help parents, Gwent Police have put together top tips and will be updating their social media platforms with easy to follow instructions of how to keep children safe.

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Ms Eleri Thomas MBE said:

“Protecting children and young people from harm is a priority for Police and Crime Commissioner and Gwent Police.  As part of my role, I am aware of increasing evidence that children and young people are subject to online harm and exploitation.

“Crime is ever evolving and this type of cyber - crime has a significant impact on individuals, families and communities.

Gwent Police is committed to supporting the safeguarding and welfare needs of children. Officers and staff are trained to recognise the signs, respond quickly and investigate to help protect our communities.  

“I am pleased that we are working with local partners including education leads and youth organisations to raise awareness of the dangers our future generations face online. Please if you are a parent, carer or support children and young people remember these three words: stop, talk, protect.

“It’s really important to support children and young people. They need to be aware of the dangers and always be encouraged to talk to someone they trust if they’re worried or concerned”

Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic there has been an increase in the number of reports to Gwent Police to young people sharing indecent images.

Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman continues:

“We can only step in and help if people come forward.

“Remember, there is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about, we are here to help.

“To make a report simply dial 101 for non-emergency matters or 999 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger.

“Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

You can also follow Gwent Police on social media @gwentpolice where you can also make an online crime report