Young people who enjoy gaming or chatting online are being taught how to protect themselves from predators trying to exploit them sexually or financially.
‘Safe Skills’ is being offered to schools on Merseyside to give children and teenagers the knowledge and ability to stop older people trying to groom them online and in person.
Merseyside Police has been working with young person’s charity Ariel Trust in Liverpool and the NSPCC to create a free educational package to be delivered by primary and secondary school teachers.
Pupils will get to watch several animated films showing real life scenarios which they can relate to such as gaming in their bedroom or hanging out in a local park which are designed to prompt discussions about ‘what would you do next?’.
The films will show how things like talking to a stranger online while gaming or being encouraged by an older person to bunk off school can put you at risk if that person turns out to have more sinister motives.
Research from the United States suggests that children are more likely to put into practice skills for getting themselves out of risky situations if they have learnt them through role play rather than having just been taught them.
These were were the most important topics to young people:
- Online gaming
- Park life
- Revealing private information online,
- Talking about your feelings
- How a bystander can help