Kent police commissioner Ann Barnes
Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes visited schools in Broadstairs and Margate as part of Safer Internet Day.
Mrs Barnes saw e-safety presentations from Amelix Youth Projects at Charles Dickens School, Broadstairs, and The Royal School for Deaf Children,Margate. She also enjoyed a lunch prepared by student chefs at East Kent College.
The theme of the presentations was ‘Is it worth it?’ and focused on promoting online safety by using games and music as well as facts and figures.
Mrs Barnes said: “The day was a real eye-opener and I learned a lot from chatting to the young people about their experiences online. I was shocked to find out that on average, 11 to 15-year-olds will have 51 to100 online friends they have never met in real life, and around 25% of young people have met up with someone they first encountered online.
“As well as all the facts and figures, I learned how important it is that parents and carers get to know how their children are using the internet.
“I also enjoyed a fantastic lunch prepared by students at East Kent College, where I met some young trainee entrepreneurs. The college is a real hub of excellence, thanks to the energy and vision of the Principal, Graham Razey, who is working hard to make sure his students leave with the excellent employability skills.”
Whitstable-based Amelix Youth Projects has worked with Kent Police for six years to successfully to promote key messages countywide to help reduce anti-social behaviour and alert young people to a range of dangers, including drug misuse, joy riding and using the internet and social media.
Founder Louis Hurst said: “The dangers to young people of cyber bullying and ‘sexting’, for example, are real, and through these roadshows we help them understand those dangers and how to use the internet and social media more safely.”