Safer Internet Day is more important than ever during the Covid-19 pandemic warned Labour Metro Mayor candidate Dan Norris.

With more and more everyday tasks taking place online the amount of screen time for children has soared.

The annual awareness day sees kids and their parents get top tips and advice on how to tackle the cyber bullies, spot online stranger danger and avoid being a victim of revenge porn. Last year the event reached 49% of young people aged 8-17 and 26% of parents.

Metro Mayor candidate Dan Norris met with the South West based Safer Internet Centre’s Director David Wright to discuss the challenges caused by the Coronavirus and their funding issues.

Worryingly, funding for their work only runs until December, and Mr Norris has called on the Government to step in and guarantee the centre’s future. This comes as the latest crime stats from the Home Office show a 17% rise in online sex crimes against children in the months after the first COVID-19 lockdown. 

Mr Norris, who used to be a social worker and has won two national awards for his child protection work, said “Safer Internet Day has never been more important. From cyberbullying to social networking to spotting fake news to online stranger danger it is so important children and their families have all the tools they need to stay safe online.

“It’s time the Government steps in to make sure that the centre’s critical work goes on.”

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