Pupil wins design for online safety character

Pupil wins design for online safety character

by Henry James (July 2022)

AN ELEVEN year old from Bishop Martin Primary School in Skelmersdale has had his design chosen as the winner of a new online safety character competition.

The Early Intervention Team at West Lancashire Police ran the competition with pupils in Year Six, after the team were inundated with requests to give social media abuse and online safety talks to local schools.

The character, named ‘Phoney’ created by Dominik Szwed (shown, right) will now be used on all educational safety material the team will present from the start of the next school term in September.

PC Paul Harrison from Skelmersdale Police and a panel of judges chose Dominik’s design because it ‘epitomised the positive and negative uses of mobile phones.’

He added: “Unfortunately social media abuse and online safety is a big issue at the moment, particularly around young people who don’t get given any advice on how to use the internet.

“They also have access to social media platforms at an early age, despite there being age restrictions. Hopefully our bespoke educational package will help answer any questions the children have and make them think twice before posting.”

Dominik added: “I was shocked and surprised to have won, I thought a lot about what to put into the design, so I’m very happy.”

Dominik received a voucher from Argos. He said: “I think I’m going to buy something for my mum.”

Most young people are unaware of the implications of posting abusive content. The package talks about malicious communications, online bullying and the criminal implications on future employment and travel prospects.

Any primary schools in West Lancashire who feel there is a need to further educate their pupils can email PC Harrison on 554@lancashire.police.uk

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