PCC-funded online safety tours return to schools for 2018/19
Published 6 December 2018
One-in-six young people in Kent has been subjected to cyber-bullying, and yet three-quarters of victims did not delete the app they were abused on.
That is according the results of a survey of almost 7,000 school pupils conducted earlier this year by the elected Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott. The alarming statistics prompted the PCC to invest more money into more interactive talks in schools to encourage young people to be kind online.
Mr Scott said:
‘The anonymous survey I launched on Safer Internet Day 2018 has shone a spotlight on the scale of cyber-bullying among young people. One-in-seven of them admitted to having previously cyber-bullied someone, or believed that they maybe had. I was encouraged to hear that 86% of young people have received some online safety advice at school but clearly there is still more to do and so I gave Amelix £39,000 to take their It Is Worth It? tour back into more schools this year.’
The Is It Worth It? tour has just concluded the first of three two-week runs. Visiting secondary schools from Dartford to Dover, around 5,500 young people were taught important safety messages about grooming, cyber-bullying and online security through live music and interactive games in this batch of shows
Amelix Group founder and director Louis Hurst said:
‘As a parent myself, it scares me seeing the research and findings from my own teams and external agencies. It scares me every day. I am really proud of the Is It Worth It? message, now in its 11th year of touring. It doesn’t tell young people not to use technology but instead, it teaches them about appropriate use and gives them an understanding of the realities of social media and the harm it can do mentally. It also covers real-world dangers associated with grooming and other predatory behaviours. Social media bullying and peer perception can cause lasting harm to many young people and we are trying to tackle constantly evolving problems and trends. ‘The teams in schools are equipping young people with the tools and resilience to stand up to bullies. It also helps them realise that many of the perfect social media profiles they aspire to are heavily filtered and edited. The team at Amelix has worked hard with educational professionals to incorporate subliminal learning into a credible show that will be touring Kent throughout the academic year in two-week blocks and I want to thank the PCC for his ongoing support for this vital work.’
Mr Scott added:
‘I am extremely grateful to all those who completed my Cyber-bulling Survey earlier this year. Almost a third of young people told us they routinely go online between 11pm and 7am, which could be affecting their studies, and I was also concerned to hear that some parents are apparently not interested in what their children are doing online. The Is It Worth It? tours are designed to help young people make good decisions on how they can use the internet and social media safely and most young people who watched last year’s tour subsequently told us they had decided to be kinder online and think about others’ feelings. ‘However, all of us - parents, schools, social media companies, the police and our partner agencies – have a duty to support and protect young people too.’