This week saw Ewanrigg Junior School Mini Police and other Maryport schools learning about safe internet usage. The learning tool place during the week that Internet Safety Awareness Day was held. With their PCSO Emma Light, students learnt key safety advice, such as the importance of not befriending people they didn’t know, always asking permission before downloading anything and never creating online accounts without telling their parents.
To share their learning, PCSO Light and Nicola Wooley of the Maryport Extended School’s Partnership, arranged a Safer Internet Use Awareness seminar at the Wave Centre in Maryport today (7th January).
Five schools from Maryport took part in the interactive seminar, which was presented by the Mini Police officers to around 300 of their peers.
PCSO Emma Light said: “Our Ewanrigg Mini Police officers are amazing, they have all on come so much with their confidence since joining the programme last year, it has been fantastic to see. They were all incredibly excited and nervous about presenting to their peers, but opportunities like this are great for them to develop their skills.
“This was the first time we have tasked our Mini Police with delivering an internet safety presentation and they have absolutely stepped up to the challenge. We are always looking at different ways to deliver key safety advice. Yesterday was important as our Mini Police passed on vital safety messaging to their peers, messages that their peers might identify with and be more open to when presented by someone their own age.
“A massive thank you to Nicola Wooley, for helping to coordinate it all and to the Wave Centre for facilitating our event. We ran the day like a professional seminar and both the Mini Police and the attending schools got a lot of learning out of it.
“We have had fantastic feedback on today’s event and I look forward to working on next years.
Police Constable, Shirley Murray, part of the Citizen’s in Policing team said: “It is such a proud feeling to watch our Mini Police officers take on new challenges and excel. They were fantastic and I know the students who attended got a lot out of it too.
“When the Citizen’s in Policing team launched our Mini Police programme last year we knew it would positively impact individuals and communities, but seeing it in action is incredible.
“The Ewanrigg Mini Police are outstanding and I want to thank them for passing on the vital safety messages they did professionally and well.”
Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall said: “The internet is a fantastic thing in so many ways but it can also be a route for criminals and those who seek to abuse our children. It is absolutely essential that we equip them with the knowledge, confidence and tools to keep themselves from those who try to prey on their vulnerability.
“Mini Police is proving to be a great way to give our children the skills and resilience they need, not just for themselves, but as they have shown at Ewanrigg this week, for their friends and families as well.
“The safety messages we are promoting have even more power when they come from the children themselves, and they reach parents too in a way that we would not achieve from a police officer or PCSO, and the children themselves are much more likely to really understand as they become the teachers.
“This scheme is giving our children understanding, making them more robust, developing their self-confidence and giving them real life skills which will keep them safer for life, perhaps most of all they are learning to live in a society where they watch out for each other – and we can all learn from that.
“I am so grateful that our schools throughout the county, Police Officers and PCSOs have really embraced this project, we are investing in our young people to keep them and us, safe.”
If you would like more information on how to keep safe online please visit: https://www.cumbria.police.uk/Advice-Centre/Online-Safety/Online-Safety.aspx