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Byron Shire
June 29, 2022

Keeping children safe in the online playground

Latest News

Main Arm Upper school are excited to be going ‘back to school’

It has been hard for many young people as they have managed the impacts of COVID over the last few years but for students at Main Arm Upper Public School the flood has meant they've been out of their school for almost half a year.

Other News

NSW Upper House agrees govt flood response ‘insufficient’

The NSW Government has supported a crossbench motion in NSW Parliament on June 8 that their response to the Northern Rivers floods was ‘insufficient’.

Lismore Lantern Parade – Vale John Lush

Once again the community of Lismore came together to celebrate with the Lantern Parade on June 25.

Rebuild of flooded school campus in North Lismore unlikely

At least one Northern Rivers-based school is likely to have a new permanent home thanks to extensive flood damage at its existing campus.

Building hei(s)(gh)ts

I also strongly agree with David Gilet and Paul McCarthy on the creeping cancer of increased building heights/heists in...

Labor mulls over the future of persecuted whistleblower and his lawyer, Collaery

While jailed Australian citizen and journalist, Julian Assange, waits for the new Labor government to act on his behalf with US extradition orders from the UK, another whistleblower and his lawyer face court behind closed doors on Australian soil.

Missing teenager found

Police say a thirteen-year-old girl reported missing from Tweed Heads earlier this week has been found safe and well.
This week is National Child Protection Week (NCPW). This year, from 5-11 September, NCPW is an annual campaign that raises awareness of child abuse prevention across Australia.  

New research has found many parents do not believe, or believe it’s unlikely, that their child is at risk of being contacted by a stranger online.

The survey commissioned by NSW Crime Stoppers was conducted online last month with over 1,000 parents across Australia. It looked at the attitudes and behaviours of parents regarding their child’s online activity.

While over 93 per cent of parents were concerned about a stranger approaching their child online, the study found 16.7 per cent of parents thought their child was not at risk at all of being contacted by a stranger online and a further 26.5 per cent thought it was unlikely.

In the lead up to National Child Protection Week, NSW Crime Stoppers has once again partnered with the eSafety Commissioner to firmly focus on promoting awareness of the dangers of the online playground and how to create a safer environment for children.

eSafety Cyber Report team received 21,000 public reports

During 2020, the eSafety Commissioner’s (eSafety) Cyber Report team received 21,000 public reports, the majority of which involved child sexual abuse material. This was the most in the scheme’s 20-year history and a 90 per cent increase compared to 2019.

NSW Crime Stoppers CEO, Mr Peter Price AM, said unwanted contact, grooming and child sexual abuse online continues to be a devastating issue, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘Many parents would not leave their child alone in a playground and we want parents to think the same about the online playground.

‘The internet is not “fenced off” like in a community playground and even with parental controls, sexual predators can still find ways to connect with children online. Until we can build a safe online playground for our children, we just ask parents to be vigilant around their child’s online activity and report anything you see, hear or suspect.’

Parents should be aware not alarmed

eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, says that while they have seen big increases across all their reporting areas, parents should be aware, not alarmed. ‘We’ve all turned to the internet during this pandemic to help us continue to work, learn, communicate and be entertained but with all this extra time we are spending online, often unsupervised, the risk that something can go wrong increases too.

‘Parents and guardians have a role to play in keeping children safe online and we encourage parents and guardians to be actively involved in their children’s online lives. This can include ensuring children use devices in open areas of the home, talking regularly with children about the potential dangers online and helping them build the critical reasoning skills they need to make good decisions.’

The NSW Police Force acknowledges the importance of National Child Protection Week and continues to support this initiative by not only bringing awareness to child protection, but also by encouraging children, young people, and their families to reach out for help if they need assistance, especially during this current pandemic.

NSWPF Youth Sponsor, Assistant Commissioner Gelina Talbot said we acknowledge it has been another difficult year for children, families and communities dealing with COVID-19 and being isolated can leave many of our children more susceptible and vulnerable to victimisation.

‘Children are spending more time online and this can place them at a higher risk of being targeted by online predators; and some may also be subjected to domestic and family violence or feel vulnerable in terms of mental health.

We all have a responsibility

‘We all have a responsibility to ensure children and young people in the community are safe, protected and supported, and are able to succeed in life without fear of harm and exploitation. This week provides us with an opportunity to highlight the issues children face and collaborate with others to enhance our response to keeping families and children safe and supported.’

Crime Stoppers, in conjunction with eSafety, has developed a Fact Sheet which has information on a range of prevention strategies to help keep children safe online. This can be downloaded at www.nsw.crimestoppers.com.au or for information and tips on how to keep your child safe online to go esafety.gov.au/parents

Protect your child’s privacy: esafety.gov.au/parents/skills-advice/privacy-child

Find reporting links for social media services, games and apps: esafety.gov.au/esafety-guide

Protect your child from unwanted contact: esafety.gov.au/parents/big-issues/unwanted-contact

Child sexual abuse material can be reported anonymously to the eSafety Commissioner at www.esafety.gov.au/reportillegalcontent

If you know or suspect someone is producing, downloading, or sharing child sexual abuse material you can make a confidential report to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or at www.nsw.crimestoppers.com.au

If you have seen inappropriate behaviour towards child online, including online grooming and unwanted contact, please make a report to the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) at www.accce.gov.au/report. There is no information too small or insignificant to report.

In an emergency, always call Triple Zero (000).


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Lismore Lantern Parade – Vale John Lush

Once again the community of Lismore came together to celebrate with the Lantern Parade on June 25.

Celebrating NAIDOC Week in the Northern Rivers 

The Northern Rivers encompasses the Bundjalung, Gumbaynggirr and Yaegl nations with celebrations for NAIDOC taking place up and down the coast. 

Man charged following break and enter – Casino

A man has been charged following an investigation into an alleged break and enter at Casino.

Locals tix on offer for Writers Fest

Byron Writers Festival is again offering Sunday locals’ passes, supported for the third time by partners, Stone & Wood.