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The Home Secretary warns against online offenders
In a speech this week, the Home Secretary warned that at least 80,000 offenders pose a threat to children online in the UK.
The data behind Sajid Javid’s speech indicates increased internet speeds and other sophisticated smartphone technology are to blame for this increased risk. Javid also highlighted that technology giants such as Google are struggling to counter this threat and that more needs to be done to protect children online.
Whilst the emphasis of Javid’s speech appears to be the need to make technological advances in online security, the scale of the risk identified also highlights the importance of schools, charities and relevant organisations to regularly review online safeguarding practice and procedures.
Whilst Javid pledged to put £2.6m towards child abuse prevention work and £250,000 towards the development of technologies which can detect live-streamed abuse, it remains to be seen how this will impact upon this ever increasing threat moving forward.
Our advice is for schools and relevant organisations to ensure that appropriate consideration is given to regularly reviewing and updating existing safeguarding policies proportionate to the increased risk identified by the Home Secretary. Policies must take into account any particular vulnerabilities of the children within their care. Parental controls are a must. Having an online safety policy is absolutely imperative and all information must be shared regularly with trustees, staff, volunteers, children and parents alike. ESafety and this online threat must also be included within the mandatory safeguarding training given to everyone who works with children.