Derby City Council today hosted a free internet safety event for over 350 Derby school children.

The Council’s Community Safety team organised the event at QUAD, which explored hard-hitting topics like cyber and gaming bullying, peer pressure, and social media safety.

Last year, the NSPCC facilitated 12,000 counselling sessions with young people who talked to Childline about issues online, while one in three children have been the victim of cyber bullying.

Councillor Asaf Afzal, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Public Protection said:

“The reality is that the internet can be a dangerous place; the way we use it has changed massively over the last ten years, making it more important than ever to educate children about how to use internet safely and responsibly.

“Our Community Safety team do brilliant work across the city, but for the last three years, they have really excelled in highlighting the risks that come with being online, and this event is another brilliant example of that.”

Interest in the event has been so huge, that the session has been fully booked. To ensure as many children and young people as possible benefit from the event, the sessions will be live streamed to schools who have signed up, reaching thousands of children across Derby.

Parents and carers have also been invited along for a special session on how to have a conversation about the use of the internet, and internet safety.

Councillor Afzal continued:

“Children aside, we also need to be making that sure that we as parents know what our children are looking at online.

“As a father myself, I know how difficult it can be to moderate what your kids look at, so I think the sessions with parents and carers, teaching them how to talk about internet safety, are really important.”

“The internet can be a dark place, there’s no denying that, but let’s not forget what a force for good it can be when people are educated on how to use it safely; four in five young people said they have felt inspired by an image or video to do something positive, and that’s so encouraging – certainly something we want to promote as much as we can!

“The popularity of this event just goes to show how much the work of our Community Safety team, is needed. We pledged to make Derby a safer city; and that includes safety online.”

For more internet safety resources, visit Get Safe Online, who have worked in partnership with the Council to deliver this event.