London Safeguarding Forum (DDISS) welcomed Safeguarding Board UK E-Safety Research

The London Safeguarding Forum (DDISS) today (Wednesday 22 January) welcomed the publication of the Safeguarding Board UK’s research, undertaken by the National Children’s Bureau UK, on e-safety messages that children, parents and practitioners receive.

Commenting Bob Smith, DDISS’s Regional Anti-Bullying Coordinator, said:

“DDISS welcomes this research and the recommendations it makes. There is a pressing need to agree a standard definition of ‘e-safety’ and we would encourage the Safeguarding Board to further this work with key partners so that all agencies can work to the same parameters.

“We are encouraged by the report’s categorisation of the different types of risk that children and young people can face online. For example, a young person having access to online gambling facilities is in a very different situation to a young person that is being groomed or sexually exploited online. It is essential that these different types of risk are responded to in the most appropriate way, by the most appropriate agency.

“The report has recognised the role DDISS plays in e-safety provision, through the information and resources it circulates on cyber bullying. The latest large scale research into bullying in Northern Ireland, published by the Department of Education in 2011, revealed that 15.5% of pupils in Year 6 and 17% of pupils in Year 9 had experienced cyber bullying in the previous couple of months. While this was not the most common form of bullying experienced by pupils, it had shown significant growth from the previous study, five years earlier.

“DDISS agrees that e-safety, like bullying, cannot effectively be tackled by any one organisation or government department acting alone. Rather it is essential that all those involved in this area work together with a common focus. We therefore welcome the recommendation that SBUK establishes an E-Safety Forum for Northern Ireland.

“DDISS is committed to working alongside any new body to further promote clear, reliable and consistent messages around cyber bullying.”