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Coppers go online to talk to ‘the kids’

Yet again we see how out of touch these people are

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Thames Valley Police has launched a "groundbreaking" Web site to help its officers meet young people "on their own territory -- the Web." The site is split into two distinct sections designed to appeal to kids of all ages. "TVP4Kids" (no doubt it stands for Thames Valley Police for Kids, although this is not made clear) uses animated cartoon characters to teach children lessons about how to be a good citizen. "Out of The Blue" (wasn't that an album by ELO? - Ed) focuses on issues that should appeal to older children including those old faves drugs and crime. "Following decades of striving in vain to find common ground with the young people of Britain, a crack police squad has finally uncovered the well-kept secret of how to reach Britain's growing youth population," the PR blurb reads. ("Crack police squad"… "uncovered well-kept secret", snigger, snigger.) The site was created for the police by UK Net company community internet. According to its MD, Matthew Hare: "The Internet has become a techno-bible to young people today, with ever increasing numbers relying on it as the key medium to absorbing and disseminating information." "Techno-bible?" More like techno-notice. Young people aren't stupid. The site might be a useful resource for teachers but other than that it is hard to see how it can succeed. It will be interesting to see just how long it takes the techno-savvy teenagers of the Thames Valley to vandalise it. Our guess is not very long. And if the site is as patronising as the press release issued by Charlton Communications -- which even failed to include the site's name or URL -- then it is certainly doomed to fail. ®

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