Young people in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight urged to download safety application on Facebook
Hampshire Constabulary is urging Facebook users across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to add a new application to their accounts to improve their safety online.
The UK’s national law enforcement agency dedicated to child protection – the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre – and Facebook have joined forces to develop the initiative.
For the first time, it will give all Facebook users in the UK – and especially those aged between 13 and 18 years – direct access to CEOP’s advice and reporting centre – ClickCEOP. This will give them access to the very latest help and information about online safety as well as a dedicated facility for reporting instances of suspected grooming or inappropriate sexual behaviour.
The access will be provided via an ‘app’ that users can add or bookmark so it appears on their profile. This acts as not only a constant source of help and reassurance for them but also as a strong visual signal to their friends, family and others that they are in control online.
The app (http://apps.facebook.com/clickceop/) will be backed by a new CEOP profile – ClickCEOP – that will look to engage with young people to help raise the profile of online safety. The move is also being supported by an advertising campaign on Facebook that will encourage people to add the app. This will include an automatic advert appearing on every profile of users aged between 13 and 18 years, inviting them to add the app.
Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Julian Venner, of Hampshire Constabulary’s Child Abuse Investigation Unit, said: “Hampshire Constabulary fully supports this CEOP initiative in providing a further step forward in safeguarding children using the internet.
“It is also a timely reminder for all parents and carers of children to take an active role in educating children about the many benefits of the internet but also the dangers, and what to do about those dangers if and when they arise.”
As well as adding the ClickCEOP app, there are a number of ways in which young people can stay safe when using Facebook:
Make sure privacy settings are set to private so the only people who can see your page and information are your friends
Some people lie about who they are online so only add friends who you know in the real world
Block or delete people who upset you or send nasty messages
Tell a trusted adult if you have a concern about something that has happened to you online.
Jim Gamble, Chief Executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre said: “Today represents a huge step forward. By adding this app, Facebook users will have direct access to all the services that sit behind our ClickCEOP button and this should provide reassurance for the many parents whose teenage children use Facebook.
“We know from speaking to offenders that a visible deterrent could protect young people online. We urge all Facebook users not only to add the app, but also to bookmark it so that others can see that they’re in control online. Our dialogue with Facebook about adopting the ClickCEOP button is well documented – this is a good day for child protection.”
Joanna Shields, Facebook’s Vice President for Europe, the Middle East, Africa (EMEA) said: “Nothing is more important than the safety of our users, which is why we have invested so much in making Facebook one of the safest places on the internet.
“There is no single silver bullet to making the internet safer but by joining forces with CEOP, we have developed a comprehensive solution which marries our expertise in technology with CEOP’s expertise in online safety.
“Together we have developed a new way of helping young people stays safe online and backed this with an awareness campaign to publicise it to young users. It is only through the constant and concerted effort of the industry, police, parents and young people themselves that we can all keep safe online – whether on Facebook or elsewhere.”
CEOP’s new Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/clickceop) will contain polls, news alerts and status updates. The page will look at topics that teenagers care about, such as celebrities, music and exams and will link these subjects to questions about online safety.
The CEOP page will also give users the option to add the new ClickCEOP application.