Police, Fire & Court

Campaign launched to fight online child abuse

By John Charlton

Oxford City Council is partnering with Thames Valley Police on a campaign to raise awareness and reporting of online child abuse.

The campaign, which was launched on Friday 16 March in partnership with the NSPCC aims to raise awareness of online child abuse and equip parents and young people with the tools to stay safe online.

In October 2017, Oxford City Council announced the support for the Thames Valley Police Hidden Harm campaign which aims to raise awareness and reporting of hidden abuses across Oxford.

The first phase of the campaign aimed to raise awareness of modern slavery, showing people how to spot the signs of the crime and, if people have concerns, how they can be reported to police.

Oxford City Council has also introduced mandatory safeguarding training for all taxi drivers that it licences to operate in Oxford, and worked with neighbouring districts to roll this training out to all taxi drivers across Oxfordshire.

According to a 2017 Ofcom report, one quarter of twelve to fifteen year olds have been contacted online by someone they don’t know, and 1 in 10 have seen something online of a sexual nature that made them feel uncomfortable.

Councillor Tom Hayes, Executive Board Member for Community Safety, said: “The Internet is unlocking exciting possibilities we could barely imagine just a decade ago. We are seeing people use social media more and more, especially younger people. With the digital world changing all the time, this Council is asking: how can we make sure Oxford’s children and young people are staying safe? That’s why we’re partnering Thames Valley Police to tackle online safety concerns and bring hidden abuses into full focus”

For more information, visit: www.thamesvalley.police.uk/hiddenharm.
Find out more about the work of the NSPCC at: http://www.nspcc.org.uk
If you are a young person who needs support go to: http://www.childline.org.uk