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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Omemee Policing Event Highlights Internet Crime!

Thursday,evening, May 17, 2012 OPP Kawartha Lakes will present displays highlighting Internet safety at Lady Eaton School, 17 James Street Omemee. This must-see evening will have something for all ages from colouring contests to Information about Careers in Policing. The main seminar focuses on a rising problem: Internet crime. Internet crime can take several forms including cyberbullying, fraud, and sexual luring. Internet crime is rapidly rising as more people use the Internet without sufficient understanding of how to protect themselves.

Child Luring Crime Reports Increase

While the Internet is an incredible social and educational tool, it can also expose children and youth to a number of risks including online predators. Between 1999 and 2008, there was a nine-fold increase in the number of child pornography incidents reported to police. In 2002, the Criminal Code was amended to include the new offence of Internet luring - using computers to communicate with a child for the purpose of facilitating the commission of a sexual offence against that child. Trend data reveal reported internet child luring incidents increased from 20 incidents in 2003 to 149 in 2008. In recent years, a number of initiatives were established at the federal and provincial levels to combat all forms of online child sexual exploitation including the National Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet which includes the RCMP’s National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre, and, a national tip-line for reporting online sexual exploitation of children.

'One very big problem with children using the Internet, is they don't understand the importance of keeping their information private.' explained Diane Staines, Omemee policing committee member, adding 'They also don't understand that the people they are playing games with may not be children.'

Cyberbullying Affects Grades

Educators consider cyberbullying is as big an issue as smoking and drugs. 73% of educators are familiar with the issue and 76% believe cyberbullying is a very or somewhat serious problem at their school.

Don't Spread hurt poster image

Cyberbullying is not just a few isolated cases. A 2011 Ipsos Reid Survey of Canadian Teenagers revealed the following statistics:

- 1 in 5 Canadian Teens have witnessed online Bullying
- 25% of kids between 12-15 have witnessed cyberbullying
- 25% of girls and 17% of boys have witnessed online harassment
- 51% of all teens have had negative experience with social networking
- 16% said someone posted an embarassing photo of them
- 12% said someone hacked their account

The study adds that "the most commonly experienced form of cyberbullying is when someone takes a private email, IM, or text message and forwards it to someone else or posts the communication publicly"
Effects of Cyberbullying are far reaching, and have far-reaching affects since bullying destroys sefl-esteem, and affects grades.

Online Anti-Bullying Resources

Stop a Bully is a Canadian site developed by a BC principal. The site offers a variety of Anti-bullying posters and resources, as well as an anonymous Stop a Bully tip line. The Stop a Bully, link allows Canadian students to anonymously report a bullying incident. However, finding the 'Report a Bully' link on the site is not easy, as it is buried at the bottom of a page of written caveats that would challenge the reading level of many adults.
There needs to be a more kid-friendly solution available.

Resources : •

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