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Keep Switched On: It’s Not Okay Week Of Action

18 June 2018

Oldham Athletic Community Trust is supporting Greater Manchester Police’s latest campaign to keep young people safe by talking to school children about the need to be vigilant about their safety, whether they are online or not.

The partnership will see hundreds of school children educated in the coming 12 months, through the Community Trusts ever growing delivery within local schools.

Special workshops & assemblies will be provided, free of charge to schools, to ensure as many people across Oldham are educated.

Martin Vose, OACT Community Manager commented: “This is a fantastic partnership, which across the next 12 months will achieve so much.

“In particular, through our Premier League Primary Stars programme, we will work with Greater Manchester Police & our local primary schools to ensure that our children are as safe as possible and continue to make a difference to the lives of those living within our local community.”

PARENTS AND CARERS URGED TO ‘SWITCH ON’ TO THE RISKS OF ONLINE GROOMING

The mother of a young boy who was sexually abused after being groomed on his games console has spoken out as part of the ‘Keep Switched On’ campaign.

The initiative has been launched by the ‘It’s Not Okay’ partnership to raise awareness of the risks of online grooming.

The mum, who is remaining anonymous to protect the identify of her son, is urging parents and carers to be vigilant of their children’s safety at all times, even when they are deemed to be ‘safe’ in their bedrooms.

She said: “I would urge parents not to dismiss any radical changes in behaviour - you know your children, you must trust your instincts.

“Keep conversations about what they are doing, and who they are seeing, ongoing. Don’t feel you are being too intrusive in their privacy – it is more important to protect them.”

The week of awareness takes place Monday 18 June 2018 – 24 June 2018 and will see officers and partners hosting a series of events across Greater Manchester including information stalls, presentations in schools and visits to after school clubs.

Detective Superintendent Joanne Rawlinson from Greater Manchester Police said: “We often think children are safer when they’re at home but sadly we’ve seen many cases of children and young people being groomed online when they’re under the same roof as their parents or carers.

“We don’t want any other family to have to go through such a horrific experience and are encouraging parents and carers to be aware of the risks and open up a conversation with their child about keeping safe online.

“Regularly review security settings on your children’s devices and look at the age restrictions given to apps and games – they’re put in place to protect children, and it is really important to adhere to them.

It’s Not Okay Key Points:

  • Use all the security and parental settings available for phones, games and social media platforms.
  • Parents and carers are advised to regularly review security settings on their children’s phones and devices, talk to their child about what they’re doing online and to encourage them to ask for help if they have any concerns. 
  • Any app or game that enables children to speak to other people can be dangerous. Closely monitor and check who your child is speaking to – they may not be who they say they are.
  • Encourage your child to speak out if they have any concerns about something they’ve seen online.

For further information on protecting children from Child Sexual Exploitation and how to seek support or report concerns visit: www.itsnotokay.co.uk


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