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Keep it to your selfie

The 'keep it to your selfie' campaign is urging teenagers to #pausebeforeyoupost and think about the consequences of sharing images online.

The campaign, originally published in the summer of 2015, centres around three videos which encourages boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 18 to think before they post images and information online.

The re-launch of the campaign coincides with October half term – when children are off school and spending more time online.

In addition, it is hoped the campaign will act as a timely reminder of the need for young people to really think about their online safety, after the figures for cyber-enabled sexual crimes against a person aged seventeen or under has seen an increase of 23%. In 2017, there were 91 crimes recorded between 1 January and 31 December. So far in 2018, there have been 112.

Online crime, also known as cybercrime, is an ever increasing type of crime which poses a threat to people of all ages up and down the country. The biggest threat to young people on the internet is being target by online paedophiles.

Online predators take advantage of young people being so active on social media and chat sites and use techniques to engage with their victims in order to groom them and exploit them.

Superintendent Mark Khan, Head of Cybercrime at North Yorkshire Police, said:

“North Yorkshire Police remains committed to protecting our online communities, in particular those who are most vulnerable.

“There is a growing need for children and young people to be educated around online sexual exploitation. We need to take every opportunity to highlight the dangers to them and promote the importance of staying safe online.

“We first published the videos in 2015, so I know we are now targeting a new group of people who were previously too young to fully understand the messages in the campaign.

“The internet, social media in particular, is a place where paedophiles can groom children by posing as someone else and we have to make young people aware of that. Many people become too comfortable too quickly engaging with people online who they don’t even know. It is so important to make sure that the person you are chatting to online is genuine.

“I hope the videos help young people stop and think about what they are doing before posting anything online.

“I encourage anyone who thinks they have noticed anything or anyone suspicious online to report it to the police. We understand sometime that young victims can feel embarrassed or ashamed in coming forward with information because of what they might have shared online.

“We want to reassure those people that we have trained and experienced officers who will help anyone who reports this type of crime. Every report to us is treated in confidence and with professionalism”.

Anyone with any concerns about someone’s behaviour online should contact police on 101.

For information and advice about online safety visit https://northyorkshire.police.uk/staying-safe/safer-online/ or go to www.getsafeonline.org