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With an estimated 75,000 paedophiles online at any time, North Yorkshire Police has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of online safety and child sexual exploitation among young people.
The ‘keep it to your selfie’ campaign is urging teenagers to #pausebeforeyoupost and think about the consequences of sharing images online.
Three videos have been produced to support the campaign, which is aimed at boys and girls aged between 11 and 18.
One of the videos will be released each week for the next three weeks on North Yorkshire Police’s social media channels.
The first video can be found here:
Detective Chief Inspector Matt Walker, Head of Cybercrime for North Yorkshire Police, said:
If we are to tackle child sexual exploitation effectively, we have to educate young people and do whatever we can to highlight the dangers to them and promote online safety.
The internet, and social media in particular, is a place where paedophiles can groom children by posing as someone else and we have to make young people aware of that.
I hope the videos we have produced can help young people stop and think about what they are doing before posting anything online. People share images and information in the virtual world that they wouldn’t dream of sharing in the real world and we need to make young people think about that.
It is also important to bear in mind that once you have shared an image online you lose control of it, you don’t know where it will end up or whose hands it will fall into. You might think you are only sharing it with one person but do you know who they are going to share it with?
The ‘keep it to your selfie’ campaign was launched at Selby Globe Community Cinema on Thursday 9 June 2015. Children from ?? school were invited to attend the launch and the aim of the campaign is to ensure that the videos reach at many young people in North Yorkshire as possible.
Detective Inspector Shaun Page, North Yorkshire Police’s lead for child sexual exploitation, said:
I am urging people to share the videos as much as possible. It is really important that we educate young people about child sexual exploitation and we think that the best way to reach them is online.
The videos all carry a strong message in a style which young people can identify with and if they can prompt people to think carefully when using the internet and social media then we are making progress.
It is very difficult to investigate child sexual exploitation which is committed online, therefore prevention and education is extremely important if we are to protect young people from internet predators.