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Internet safety talks for UK kids

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The government has announced plans for an internet safety campaign for secondary school children across Britain in a move that is hoped to crack down on child sex abuse.

Initially, one million children will be involved in internet awareness talks with a mixed group of police, teachers, and child protection staff.

The ThinkYouKnow campaign, launched today by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre, will be introduced in schools, foster homes and other "youth environments" for children between the ages of 11 and 16.

Children will be directed to a "virtual police environment" website where they "can report any instances of inappropriate online contact".

The initiative is being introduced to not only increase awareness among school children about the risks associated with using the internet, but is also expected to lead to investigations and arrests where necessary.

Government minister Vernon Coaker said: "Raising awareness by arming children and their parents with good practical advice is key if we are to win the battle against child sex offenders."

The campaign will focus on social networking sites, chat rooms, and gaming sites and sessions will take place in schools to highlight "safety first" advice on internet usage.

CEOP Centre chief executive Jim Gamble said: "Where children go then the predator will follow and in the same way as we safeguard our playgrounds, our parks, our streets, we must secure in whatever way possible the public place that is the internet." ®

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