* North Wales Police and Crime Andy Dunbbobin with Carl Taraborelli and Jon Russell.
A police boss has issued a warning to mums and dads
to put parental controls on their children’s smart phones and other devices to
protect them from online perverts.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Andy
Dunbobbin spoke out after hearing that two nine year old girls from the region
were filmed dancing naked in a “sexually provocative way” on a live streaming
During a visit to meet North Wales Police’s crack
team of cybercrime experts, the tech savvy commissioner was also told that
sexting by school children was on the increase.
According to Mr Dunbobbin, tackling the growing
menace of cyber dangers was one of the key priorities in his new Police and
Crime Plan which sets out the blueprint for policing North Wales.
Association of Police and Crime Commissioners is already tapping into the
have elected him as their deputy lead for police technology and digital and
deputy lead for economic and cybercrime, including fraud.
commissioners decided he was the perfect person for the job because of his
background working in the technology industry.
in 2012 he helped ensure the London Olympics was successfully beamed across the
world to an audience measured in billions.
Mr Dunbobbin said: “Technology is playing an
increasingly vital role in policing so this is a hugely important area.
“The increase in online crime is a massive
challenge for the police, here in North Wales and across the UK.
“The criminal fraternity and online paedophiles are
becoming ever more sophisticated in the way they operate and we need to respond
accordingly so we can stay one step ahead.
“It is therefore imperative that we invest to
ensure we have the most up-to-date technology at our disposal so we can crack
down on these online dangers.
“At the same time, educating children incredibly
important. It’s important to show all youngsters how to stay safe online and
not to give out personal information- and I’m glad to say that North
Wales Police are very proactive in this regard.
“But parents also have a vitally important role to
play in protecting their own children from the dangers lurking online and the
risks of paedophiles targeting youngsters that they can groom.
“Mums and Dads can and should set parental controls
that will prevent their children accessing sites with inappropriate sexual
“There is a lot of advice and information available
one of the most useful sites parents can tap into is the website of the National Cybersecurity Centre, www.ncsc.gov.uk
It was a message echoed by Detective Sergeant Carl Taraborelli who said: “The chances are
that many parents are blissfully unaware of what their children are using their
phones and iPads for whilst they are connected to the internet.
“The sending of
inappropriate pictures is a growing trend amongst children, compounded by the
use of technology and social media.
“It’s mainly teenagers who
do this but in some cases, it can be a lot younger as well.
“Parents need to ask and check what their children
are doing online and if they were to visit the National Cybersecurity Centre’s
website there is a lot of advice aimed towards parents/guardians to help them,
help their children keep safe from online harm.
The police do not routinely criminalise children
for this behaviour and our priority is to educate and steer those children from
“I know from my previous role as a detective
sergeant in Child Protection however, that we used to receive regular queries
from partner agencies and other officers with mobile phones belonging to
children who were sending images to one another, so it is sadly an area of
“The children don’t always
appreciate the dangers that presents to them and the subsequent loss of control
of those images once that image is out. It can often result in elements of
cyber bullying and public embarrassment.
“In the most serious of
cases, it can really affect those children and there have been examples where
children have really struggled to cope following the effects and outcome of
this type of behavior - you have to treat that extremely seriously and make
sure that all the relevant support is in place in those types of situations.
“We’ve got a strong cohort
of school liaison officers and cyber safety is an important part of their
remit. The ideal solution is to stop this problem at source.”
* For more
information parents can go to the National Cybersecurity Centre’s website, www.ncsc.gov.uk