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Dorset police warn of online risks for children

As part of the Countdown to Christmas campaign, Dorset Police is issuing online safety advice to parents across the south.

Children face several risks online such as accessing inappropriate websites, losing control over pictures and videos and communicating with strangers.

Online communication poses further risks concerning sexting, online bullying and grooming where control over these are lost once sent.

Internet Safety Officer for the Safe Schools and Communities Team (SSCT) Mark Howell advises parents to be vigilant of their children's online activities and suggests that parents encourage their children to show them how the websites work.

Discuss the risks and benefits of these sites. Children should know that if they are worried, they can talk to their parents or another appropriate adult. Parents need to be alert for the signs of online grooming or cyber bullying. Your child may be more private and secretive than usual. They may minimise screens, not engage with the family and spend long amounts of time on their mobile device or take the device to their bedroom.”

– Mark Howell, Internet Safety Officer for the Safe Schools and Communities Team

Online dating 'taken fun out of courtship'

Video. Online dating is now more popular than ever. The days of the dance hall, and meeting down at the local pub seem to be long gone. These days, it's about data, as well as dates.

And many websites use very sophisticated ways to match us up to what they hope will be our ideal partners. But as Adam Fowler now reports, some fear the "modern" way of doing things, has taken all the fun out of courtship.