Preventing crime, protecting the public and helping those in need
If you are a child or young person and you are looking for advice, you will hopefully find what you need here. We have also put links on these pages to external sites that can provide you with further, more detailed information about a range of topics.
If you are looking for information about internet / cybercrime related issues specifically, please visit our cyber crime page.
If you are under 12 or are looking for advice for primary school age children please visit our website for primary school age children 'Safe Street'.
Safe Street is an interactive game for primary school children which helps to teach them how to stay safe in their community. Please note this game requires flash to be installed and therefore will not work on tablets and mobiles.
If you are being bullied there are people that can help you, you are not alone. The most important thing is that you tell someone about what's happening.
If you do not want to talk to someone in person, you can visit one of these websites for advice and information.
Cyber bullying is when someone uses the internet (instant messaging and social media, for example) to deliberately upset someone else. This type of bullying is often an extension of what is happening at school and means that the victim is unable to escape the bullies, even at home.
Abuse is not normal and never ok.
If you are in a relationship with someone, you should feel loved, safe, respected and free to be yourself.
There are different forms of abuse. If your relationship leaves you feeling scared, intimidated or controlled, you could be in an abusive relationship.
If you think you are suffering abuse you can contact the police by dialling 101 or 999 in an emergency.
There are also different organisations so you can speak to someone about these issues freely and confidentially.
For further information please click here.
It is easier than ever to share photographs using smart phones and for those photographs to be shared with people who are not your friends.
Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, possessing or distributing indecent images of a person under 18 is against the law.
So before you hit 'send', stop and think. Would you print this image to pass around school and show it to your mum and dad? The best way to avoid this uncomfortable situation is not to take or distribute any indecent images.
For useful advice on online and mobile safety, visit thinkuknow.co.uk. This site includes a short video on the possible consequences of sexting.
The activity often takes place in exchange for money, alcohol, drugs, food, accommodation or presents such as clothing or mobile phones, and victims can be targeted in person or online.
Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child's immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post images on the internet or using mobile phones without immediate payment or gain.
Violence, coercion and intimidation are common. Involvement in exploitative relationships is characterised by the child’s or young person’s limited availability of choice as a result of their social, economic and emotional vulnerability.
A common feature of CSE is that the child or young person does not recognise the coercive nature of the relationship and does not see themselves as a victim of exploitation.
West Midlands Police supports the regional See Me Hear Me campaign to raise awareness of CSE. Visit the website at www.seeme-hearme.org.uk to read real-life case studies and watch videos which help both adults and young people to be more alert to the risks.
For children or young people who believe they may be a victim of sexual exploitation or feel uncomfortable or worried about anything happening in their life, tell someone that you can trust today.
Officers are always willing to listen to you – it doesn’t matter what the crime is, or how minor or serious you think it is. If you feel you can tell us about it, we will take action to bring offenders to justice and also offer you as much support as possible.
For parents, guardians, social care and health care professionals, as well as teachers and youth workers, some of the common signs that may indicate a child or young person is being sexually exploited are below (please note this is not an exhaustive or definitive list). You have an important role in recognising the signs and protecting that child or young person:
If you or someone close to you thinks they may be at risk online from a potential sexual offender, contact police on 101 or seek advice from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).
Child sexual exploitation with Det. Supt Tim Bacon
Some of the tactics the force uses to address child sexual exploitation include:
The internet is a great educational resource for children, giving them access to a world of information and new experiences.
Guidelines to help make your child safer online:
Working in partnership with police, government, the internet and mobile phone industries, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) operates the UK Hotline for reporting criminal online content.
The IWF’s service is free to the general public to help minimise the availability of illegal content and protect internet users. Find out more on their website: www.iwf.org.uk
The NSPCC and ChildLine have produced a range of online safety resources for both children and adults. The videos are mainly aimed at parents with children aged 8-12.
Lucy and the Boy- short animated video highlighting the risks of sharing personal information with strangers online.
I Saw Your Willy- short video, using an example of a boy that shares a picture of his willy, to show the dangers of sharing private images and how quickly such pictures can spread.
Share Aware guide- a guide produced to empower parents to keep their children safe online. It includes conversation starters to help parents discuss online safety and advice on what to do if things go wrong online. For printed versions of this resource, please see below on additional resources. Read more on Share Aware guide.
NetAware- a comprehensive guide for parents on over 50 of the top social networks, apps and games that young people use. It includes key facts for each site, recommended age ratings, and information about safety features. Read more on NetAware.
Talking to your child about staying safe online- advice and tips on how to have effective conversations with your children about an array of online topics, including cyberbullying, online porn, and sharing images and information. Read more on Talking to your child about staying safe online.
Parental controls- information on how parental controls can be used to help keep children safe online. Discusses the benefits of parental controls and gives practical advice on how to put them in place. Read more on Parental controls.
Sexting: advice for parents- information from the NSPCC, explaining what sexting is, what the risks are, and how to talk to your child about the issues. Read more on Sexting: advice for parents.
Online porn- conversation starters for parents to help them discuss online porn with their children. Read more on Online porn.
Staying safe online- a ChildLine page offering tips to young people on online safety. Includes information on posting online, online communities, and online bullying. Read more on Staying safe online.
Online grooming- an advice page, looking at what online grooming is, how it happens, and what you can do to keep yourself safe. Read more on Online grooming.
Sexting- information on what sexting is, what the risks are, and what you can do if someone sends you a picture or asks for one. Read more on Sexting.
Mobile phone safety- an advice page, focusing on how to use your phone safely. It covers what you should do if you are being bullied through your mobile or being pressured to share your phone number. Read more on Mobile phone safety.
Online gaming- ChildLine content, giving advice on how to stay safe when gaming. It discusses voice chat, online bullying, and how to keep a record of abusive messages. Read more on Online gaming.
Online porn- fact page, discussing what porn is, whether it’s normal to look at porn, and how porn makes you feel. It also gives advice on what you can do if you feel under pressure after watching porn, have been caught watching porn, or are concerned that you are watching too much porn. Read more on Online porn.
Zipit- ChildLine’s first ever app, designed to help young people stay in control if they are asked to send a naked picture of themselves. It provides witty comebacks and pictures which enable young people to diffuse the situation and stay safe. It is free to download and available on Android, Blackberry and Apple smartphones. Read more on Zipit.
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