WEST MIDLANDS POLICE NEWSLETTER – BACK TO SCHOOL NEWSLETTER
The Hollie Guard app is useful as the app can trace movements and it alerts your main contact when a pupil may feel in danger.
CHILD EXPLOITATION AWARENESS SESSION
Parents/Carers in Walsall, please join Street Teams Community Futures for part 1 of their free awareness session on Child Exploitation on Wednesday 3rd March at either 12 pm or 5 pm. This will be a 45 minute session via Zoom and the following week part 2 will be delivered. All you need to do is download the Zoom app and click either the 12pm session link or the 5pm session link
WALSALL PREVENT PROGRAMME
The newly developed Walsall Prevent Programme – A Guide for Parents and Carers provides useful and relevant information around the dangers of radicalisation. This guidance is clearly directed towards the parents and carers of children and young people.
The information sheet contains the following information:-
- Overview of radicalisation.
- Why do people become radicalised?
- How are young people radicalised?
- How can parents keep young people safe?
- Tacking the issue: a step by step guide.
- Where else can I find support?
- What can I do if I have a concern?
The links below are two new animated ‘explainer films’ about Prevent and provide an introduction to Prevent and to the work of Prevent officers.
TIK TOK/TWITTER ALERT
We have been advised that there is information going around on Tik Tok and Twitter telling young people to watch on You Tube ‘Megan is Missing’. This is a 1hr film which was banned in 2011 because it is so traumatising to watch. The film is about two girls meeting someone on social media and then being murdered. DO NOT watch this or share it with anyone. The sites are being monitored. Keep yourself and others safe.
TIK TOK ON LINE SAFETY ADVICE
Parents and carers may find the advice sheet around using Tik Tok useful especially around keeping your child safe as well as offering some top tips.
There is a video circulating of a suicide following a Facebook live-stream that was quickly taken down.
If parents find a distressing clip on Tiktok they will need to open the video and press the share button, tap report and follow the online instructions.
On Facebook, they can report a photo or video that they believe violates its Community Standards by clicking or tapping on the post to expand it.
Hover over the photo or video and hit Options in the bottom right corner.
Click Find Support or Report Photo for photos or Find support or report video for videos.
Select the option that best describes the issue and follow the on-screen instructions.
On Instagram, tap the three dots above the photo or video post, tap report, and then select why you’ve chosen to report the post.
ONLINE SAFETY POSTERS
Below are a number of fact sheets explaining to parents/carers what they need to know about the use of Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Netflix and Google.
ONLINE SAFETY AT HOME VIDEO
This short video provides parents and carers with:
- An introduction to NCA-CEOP, the Thinkuknow education programme and its resources
- Advice on how they can keep their child safe online, including a helpful tool to support them in having the right conversations about online safety.
In addition home activity packs for pupils aged 11-13 and 14+ have been produced which are available below:
BUILDING DIGITAL RESILIENCE
Below is a useful resource around a ‘Parent’s Guide to Online Risks and Tools to Protect Parents, Their Children and Others From Harm in the Digital Space’ which has been produced by Walsall LA.
As children are likely to be spending more time on line, This website www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents contains loads of useful tips for helping to keep them safe.
SafeToNet is an app for parents to help them safeguard their children from online risks like cyberbullying and sexting, whilst always respecting their child’s rights to privacy. The SafeToNet Foundation is providing UK families with free-for-life access to the SafeToNet safeguarding solution during coronavirus. Using the code: SAFE, parents can get free access to the app which has wellbeing activities and adds a safeguarding keyboard to the child’s phone. Further details are available on their website, https://safetonet.com
A primary school has shared concerns regarding the app below that appears to have been used by an 8 year old, but led to a serious situation of online grooming.
Please be aware of the potential perils of this app.
West Midlands Police has been made aware of an App called “UNICO LIVE”. The app is publicised as age restricted 12+ and designed for young people to upload videos of them performing, singing and dancing etc.; it has come to our attention that there is inappropriate content on the platform involving young people which is being investigated.
The content does not appear to be monitored and we urge you to raise awareness widely to increase vigilance and reduce the likelihood of any child being sexually exploited.
YOU TUBE ALERT – RICK AND MORTY
An alert has been raised by a local primary school to the content of the above as the content sounds very worrying and parents/carers just see their children watching a cartoon without releasing the seriousness of the content.
It has been brought to our attention that some of our pupils are watching a cartoon on YouTube called Rick & Morty. This is NOT suitable for children to be watching as it is made for adult viewing and has adult content inc: Sex, Drugs, Alcohol etc. Please can you check that your child doesn’t have access to this as parents are presuming it is just a cartoon.
SAFEGUARDING ALERT – CHAT AVENUE
A Walsall primary has shared a concern regarding the above site where it appears that indecent pictures were sent to children, please be vigilant.
CONCERNS AROUND A “YOU TUBER”
Parents and Carers are advised of the following safeguarding concern raised by a local Primary School.
A Youtuber called Chad Wild Clay posts Youtube videos that look and sound very child friendly but when you watch them they are actually about weapons – knives, knuckle gloves that can have blades attached, concealed knives in everyday objects. The most concerning thing is that these videos are targeting younger children and there is no age restriction attached. The most concerning thing is that if parents glanced at the youtube video they would think it is suitable for their children to watch as it is just like the videos where children are opening surprise toys.
MOMO CHALLENGE AWARENESS
Parents and Carers are advised to be aware of a new online suicide game called Momo which targets young children on social media. The eerie game is synonymous with the face of a girl with long, black hair and big bug-like eyes staring straight through the lens and encourages them to add a contact on messaging service WhatsApp or it can also be played via Facebook, YouTube and other online platforms. It encourages children to self-harm then hounds them with violent images and dares and the ultimate post tells them to take their own lives.
APPS, GAMES AND SOCIAL MEDIA SITES REVIEWS FOR PARENTS
Parents and carers can click on the link from the NSPCC for guidance on the above, https://www.net-aware.org.uk/networks/
APP AWARENESS FOR PARENTS AND CARERS
ONLINE GAME ALERT – DOKI DOKI LITERATURE CLUB. We have received an alert regarding the above game, its home page clearly states This game is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed. The game apparently gets users to complete a game that shows how to kill themselves and kill other people, following a story that strips their emotions. Parents and Carers are advised to be aware.
YOTI app is where children can request the removal of sexual images of themselves which have been shared online which has been verified as legitimate by the National Crime Agency.
Childline and the Internet Watch Foundation have come together to provide a service where children can request the removal of sexual images of themselves which have been shared online. As part of that process the child would be asked to provide a link to where the image is stored online, rather than send the image itself.
The child is also required to verify their identity and age which is done through the YOTI app. YOTI will not store images of the child’s ID following the verification process.
Below are a couple of online resources which contain details regarding this service:
|Sexting | NSPCCwww.nspcc.org.ukSexting: Why do young people do it? Is it illegal? How to explain the risks to your child, and what to do if a child has shared an explicit image.|
There is a section which covers what you can do if you’ve lost control of a sexual image and refers to the YOTI app.
|Childlinecontentreporting.childline.org.ukREPORT AN IMAGE OR VIDEO Nude image of you online? We can help you take it down.|
This is the portal where you can report images and videos for take down and again refers to using the app to verify age. We hope you find this of assistance in protecting young people on line.
Parents and Carers need to be aware of the above website that is deemed by the Safeguarding Team at the LA as ‘risky’. The site encourages ‘talk with strangers worldwide’ and pupils can access the site via other sites such as Justin Bieber and/or One Direction. The people on the site are of concern and could be perceived to be predatory.
Parents and carers attention is drawn to another app called ‘Amino’. The app allows users to create a profile where they can pretend to be a character, cartoon, vampire etc and they can discuss fantasies. The app appears very child like with colourful cartoon characters and could be easily overlooked by parents. The site appears to revolve around fantasy role play and would be an ideal tool for use by perpetrators wishing to contact or groom victims.
Live.Me is an app which allows you to connect and share via live video. Concerns relating to sharing content in real time with strangers and the ability to share these on social media have been raised. Please make your child aware of the dangers of communicating with strangers and issues relating to taking videos.
A warning has been issued around an app called ‘Yellow’. The app could be used by sexual predators to groom innocent young people and is available for both the iphone and android devices – it bills itself as a ‘free way to make new chat friends’. Yellow has no checks in place that verifies the age of its users.
A FREE guide has been made available from The National Online Safety Team to share with the community about Yubo (formerly Yellow), the social media application which has been commonly labelled as ‘Tinder for Teens’. The guide informs parents about the dangers associated with the platform and how they can reduce the associated risks, including, but not limited to; Bullying, Low Self Esteem, ‘Going Live’ and Location Features.The free guide for parents is available here: https://twitter.com/natonlinesafety/status/991688591817441280
Dumbsmash – an app called Dumbsmash is a video messaging app where people can upload themselves singing over famous songs and then choose to share via whatsapp, facebook, instagram or via a text message. It is not intended for children under 18 and you must be 18 or 13 years or older with parents permission to use it. There is also a questions and answers site about the app which talks about Dumbsmash 2. Dumbsmash 2 has nothing to do with the Dumbsmash app as it is a malware app that hides itself on phones and then pushes users to porn sites. As soon as it is set up, the icon deletes itself and runs it in the background without the users knowledge. Please be aware of students use of this app.
Blue Whale Suicide Game – concern has also been rasied around the social media game Blue Whale which is sinister in what it encourages young people to do. British police are warning parents about the dangers of which is said to be responsible for hundreds of teenage suicides in Russia.
The ‘Blue Whale challenge’ encourages at-risk participants to take part in a series of tasks like cutting themselves every day for 50 days. They are then instructed to kill themselves on the final day of the sick ‘challenge’. Parents and Carers are advised to be vigilent and talk to their child of any concerns around this sick game.
THE PREVENT STRATEGY
Prevent is a government strategy designed to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist or extremist causes. An information leaflet explaining what this entails is on the leaflet below. If you have any questions or concerns about the Prevent strategy and what it means for your child, please do not hesitate to contact the school. Our Single Point of Contact (Prevent Lead) is Mr Lee Cross with Bev Bailey, Family Welfare Officer as Deputy SPOC.
LAUNCH OF EDUCATE AGAINST HATE
The Government has launched the above website http://educateagainsthate.com – which is designed to equip parents as well as schools with the information, tools and resources needed to recognise and address extremism and radicalisation in young people.
CHILDREN AND SEXTING
Sharing information online is now part of everyday life. Digital devices can capture, store and share personal information in an instant. We are all at risk of oversharing personal and private information but none more so than children. Children are at risk of sharing too much personal information with strangers and with other children. Most children use the internet to explore social and personal relationships safely, but it is all too easy to be put at risk. Keeping children safe on line is of paramount importance; further details on becoming a ‘Gooseberry Guru’ can be found on our safeguarding page.
Sexual exploitation is a crime that parents and carers should be aware of. Support can be found by clicking here.
COPING WITH SELF HARM
Below is a useful document that parents and carers may find useful in coping with self harm.
FREE: Online Parenting Course which includes topics such as radicalisation and extremism, cyberbullying and sexting. Further details on our parents area page.
Children, Sexting and Sexual Imagery – sharing information online is now part of everyday life. Learn how to become a Gooseberry Guru from the document below issued by Gooseberry Planet.