How Sunderland parents can keep their children safe online

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Shoppers in Sunderland have been receiving one-to-one advice about keeping children safe online.

Parents, carers and young people have been getting advice from NSPCC representatives and O2 tech experts in The Bridges shopping centre in Sunderland this week.

NSPCC campaign manager Helen Westerman and O2 guru Jim Cameron at The Bridges in Sunderland.

NSPCC campaign manager Helen Westerman and O2 guru Jim Cameron at The Bridges in Sunderland.

The stall will be in Central Square until 5pm tomorrow, but if you cannot make it down, you can watch a video filmed by the experts in the shopping centre yesterday.

Last month, the NSPCC revealed that 240 crimes of sexual communication with a child were recorded by the three North East police forces last year. The youngest victim was just six.

The offence came into force last April, following an NSPCC campaign.

Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram were the top three most-recorded sites out of 80 different methods used in grooming offences.

Helen Westerman, NSPCC campaigns manager for the north of England, said: “Children are spending more time than ever online, and while it brings opportunities and benefits, there are also potential risks.

“The online world can be unfamiliar and sometimes daunting to parents. But to protect our children it is vital that we understand the technology and can have informed conversations with them about it.

“Anyone who wants to find out more about how children can keep safe online is welcome to come along to the stall.”

Sunderland O2 guru Jim Cameron said: “At O2 we know that online safety remains a top concern for parents.

“We always welcome both O2 and non-O2 customers to come into store for free advice on how to keep kids safe online.”

Anyone looking for further online safety advice can contact the O2 NSPCC online safety helpline on 0808 800 5002 or pop into an O2 store, where an O2 guru can help.

They can also visit www.net-aware.org.uk and www.nspcc.org.uk, while young people with any concerns can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or www.childline.org.uk