29
July
2014
|
00:00
Europe/London

Online campaign asks young people ‘Who are you really talking to?’
















Caption: One of the images from the new 'Who are you really talking to?' campaign





A
new hard-hitting campaign has been launched aimed at preventing children in
Leeds from falling prey to online sexual predators posing as someone else.






The
‘Who are you really talking to?’ campaign looks to make young people in Leeds
more aware of the dangers of chatting online to people they don't know.






The
Leeds Safeguarding Children Board and Leeds City Council have joined forces
with West Yorkshire Police to launch the campaign during the school holidays,
when more young people are expected to be using social media and internet chat
rooms.






An
animated image has been developed, which shows a young person talking online to
someone who they believe to be their own age.






But
the image morphs into an internet troll, representing an individual pretending
to be someone else with the intention of online grooming.






Aimed
at people aged 13-18, the campaign is part of ongoing efforts to help children
and their parents spot the signs of child sexual exploitation and report it as
well as
being part of the council’s
overall commitment to making Leeds a child friendly city
.






Jane Held, chair of the Leeds Safeguarding Children Board, said:






“With
the summer holidays underway, we know that children and young people will be
spending more time online, chatting to friends and potentially meeting new
people.






“Unfortunately
that also means that there is a greater risk of them becoming targets for
online sexual predators.






“It
is vital that young people are aware that the people they are talking to online
may not always be who they say they are.






“Sexual
predators are known to use the internet to groom young people, often adopting a
persona to gain their victim’s trust.






“This
campaign is aimed at providing young people with the important facts and
information they need to spot the signs of online grooming and help them to
protect themselves. It will also tell them where they can get help and advice
if they need it.






“We
need to give children and young people the information they need to make
informed decisions and stay safe online.”






As
well as raising awareness, the campaign tells young people what online grooming
is, how to recognise it and provides information about how to surf the web safely.






It
also warns against up-loading personal information online, which could identify
where youngsters live and how to contact them.






Details
will feature on relevant websites across Leeds where children and young people
may be looking for things to do over the summer holidays as well as on Facebook
and Twitter.






Information
and advice for children and young people can be found at:
http://www.leedslscb.org.uk/Children-Young-People/online-safety






ENDS






For more
details, contact:







Communications Officer



Leeds City Council



Tel: 0113 224 3937