26 September 2023

Police march into child protection week

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The NSW Police Force has announced that new research commissioned by NSW Crime Stoppers has found many parents do not believe, or believe it’s unlikely, that their child is at risk of being contacted by a stranger online.

The Police said the survey, conducted with over 1,000 parents across Australia, looked at the attitudes and behaviours of parents regarding their child’s online activity.

They said that while over 93 per cent of parents were concerned about a stranger approaching their child online, the study found 16.7 per cent of parents thought their child was not at risk at all of being contacted by a stranger online and a further 26.5 per cent thought it was unlikely.

National Commissioner for eSafety, Julie Inman Grant said that as part of this week’s National Child Protection Week she had partnered with NSW Crime Stoppers to promote awareness of online dangers and how to create a safer environment for children.

Ms Inman Grant said that during 2020 the eSafety Cyber Report team received 21,000 public reports, the majority of which involved child sexual abuse material, which was the most in the scheme’s 20-year history and a 90 per cent increase compared to 2019.

“Parents and guardians have a role to play in keeping children safe online and we encourage parents and guardians to be actively involved in their children’s online lives,” Ms Inman Grant said.

“This can include ensuring children use devices in open areas of the home, talking regularly with children about the potential dangers online and helping them build the critical reasoning skills they need to make good decisions,” she said.

The Crime Stoppers’ research report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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