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Online Abuse advice

Online abuse advise for professionals working with young people

Sexual Communication with a child under the age of 16 – new offence

Section 67 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 inserts a new offence into the Sexual Offences Act 2003, at section 15A, criminalising sexual communication with a child.

This new classification criminalises conduct of an adult who intentionally communicates with a child under the age of 16 (whom the adult does not reasonably hold the belief for them to be aged 16 or over) with the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification if that communication is sexual in nature or it’s intent is to encourage that child to make a communication that is sexual.

Situations that will be covered by the offence include talking sexually to a child in an online chatroom, sexually explicit SMS text messages to a child along with inviting a child to communicate sexually ( whether the invitation itself is sexual or not ).

The new offence is designed to ensure that it does not criminalise ordinary social or educational interactions between children and adults or communications between young people themselves in an ever increasing age of technology and mobile communication and improves the law substantially as prior to this new offence, sexualised communication with children that was text based was not actually a criminal offence on its own unless paired with an actual attempt to meet up with a child.

From 3 April 2017, any adult caught breaking the law will face up to two years in prison and be automatically placed on the sex offenders register. The law will cover both online and offline communication, including social media, e-mail, and letters.

We live in an age where children live their lives through social media, so it's important that they are educated about how to stay safe online and parents are aware of their children's use of social media, sites and apps.




Disrespect NoBody campaign

The second phase of the Home Office Disrespect Nobody campaign will run from 2 February until the end of March 2017.

The aim of the Disrespect NoBody campaign is to prevent young people, both boys and girls aged 12 to 18 years old from becoming perpetrators and victims of abusive relationships.

For 2017 the focus of the campaign will be consent and sexting, which are both issues where many young people need more education and information. The campaign advertising directs young people to the website www.disrespectnobody.co.uk where they can get further information and signposts them to organisations who can provide support.

Please click on the link below to download the partner brief and campaign materials.

Click here to go to their website


Sexting: advice for professionals Policies and procedures and what you need to do - September 2016

The NSPCC offers advice to professionals about how to respond to incidents of sexting. This include: writing a sexting policy and procedures; what to do if a young person makes a disclosure about sexting; increasing public and professional awareness of issues surrounding sexting.

All organisations must have a clear policy outlining their approach and commitment to protecting children from the dangers of sexting. There should also be clear procedures that detail the actions which must be taken if a child makes a disclosure about sexting.

Click this link for more information


Online abuse

The NSPCC is putting online sexual abuse in the spotlight to ensure children are given the same protection in the online world as they are offline. Two new reports have been published: the first explores how Childline, the NSPCC helpline and O2 are responding to children’s and parents’ concerns about content online; the second reviews current research around children and young people who display harmful sexual behaviour online. The NSPCC is also calling on the government to expand the powers of the age verification regulator relating to pornographic sites as part of the Digital Economy Bill.

Date: 17 October 2016


thin-u-know logo

Think U Know offers advice on internet safety - click on this link to go to their website

New Thinkuknow Professionals website - click here for the new website

The new site offers a more streamlined approach to accessing our free resources, as well as up to date guidance, articles and training opportunities - as well as a new ‘Community’ area specifically for our Ambassadors.




Policies, tools and resources to keep you safe. Click here to go to their website



Stop it now logo

The Lucy Faithfull Foundation has launched a new campaign to deter people from viewing child abuse images online. The Stop it now resources include information and support to help users of online abuse images cope with difficult emotions and change their behaviour. Further information can be found on their website


Influence of images and videos in young people’s digital lives

The UK Safer Internet Centre has published a report looking into the role and influence of images and videos in young people’s digital lives and the influence this can have on their self-esteem, behaviour and emotions. Findings from a survey of 1,500 young people aged 8-17 years old in the UK include: 70% said they have seen images and videos not suitable for their age in the last year; 22% said that someone has posted an image or video to bully them; and 45% of 13-17 year olds have seen nude or nearly nude photos of someone they know being shared around their school or local community.

Source: UK Safer Internet Centre  Date: 07 February 2017

Further information: Power of image report (PDF) 


Online safety guides

The UK Safer Internet Centre has launched a series of online safety guides for professionals working with children including social workers, healthcare professionals, residential care settings and governors/trustees. The guides provide tailored advice in a range of topics including: roles and responsibilities in relation to online safeguarding; understanding the latest technologies and trends; managing online safeguarding incidents; supporting children, young people, parents, carers.

Source: UK Safer Internet Centre Date: 13 July 2017



Chelsea's Choice & Crashing

We are holding two FREE evening performances based on Child Sexual Exploitation. One performance of Chelsea’s Choice and one performance of Crashing. Please click on this link for more details.

May 2017 newsletter

Click here for our latest newsletter

Ofsted Inspection

The Bedford Borough Safeguarding Children Board (BBSCB) is judged to be 'Good' in a report published today by Ofsted. For more details of the report and a statement by Jenny Myers, Independent Chair of BBSCB can be found here 


Child Sexual Exploitation Conference

‘The More You Know, The More You See’ – Child Sexual Exploitation Conference

Date: Thursday 28th September 2017

Venue: The Rufus Centre, Flitwick

Time: 9:30 – 4:30 (Registration 9:00 – 9:30)

For more details please click here