The CHAT SHRE THINK! project, headed by Sergeant Siobhan Ennis and Constable Rachel Wilson and first supported by Moyle PCSP, was “highly commended” by the Justice Minister David Ford at the Justice in the Community Awards at Parliament Buildings last week.
CHAT SHARE THINK! combines the unique insight of PSNI officers working in the Public Protection Unit (PPU) with funding, school links and the support of local Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSPs). The result is a hard hitting and empowering workshop for pupils and parents which deals with issues such as online grooming, general internet safety and guidance on the law around sharing indecent images.
The project has been rolled out to around 5,000 pupils in the Coleraine, Ballymena, Larne, Ballymoney and Moyle areas with the support of local PCSPs. It was launched in Moyle in February 2014 after the local PCSP recognised it’s importance. CHAT SHARE THINK! will be rolled out to another 20,000 pupils over the next 12 months. The project also involves parents in a separate information session, empowering them to help keep children safe online.
H District Commander, Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray was delighted to see the accolade go to CHAT SHARE THINK!: “The priority for police is to keep people safe and this project is firmly focussed on keeping our young people safe and empowering their parents. The project has received lots of really positive feedback from local schools and I am delighted to see additional recognition from the Justice Minister.
Detective Chief Superintendent George Clarke, head of Public Protection in Northern Ireland added his congratulations: “I am delighted to see this measure highly commended. It is vitally important that we keep young people safe online and this project encapsulates this. I am very proud of the effort of the officers and commend them in their efforts in keeping people safe.”
CHAT SHARE THINK! was first rolled out in Moyle with the support of the local Policing and Community Safety partnership (PCSP). Moyle PCSP Chair Margaret Anne McKillop commented: “Moyle PCSP are delighted that this project has been recognised in the Justice Awards and are very proud to say we saw its potential and supported it from the start.
“Moyle PCSP recognises that as on-line social media activity increases, unfortunately so do the opportunities for cyber-crime. However, projects like CHAT SHARE THINK! enable young people and their parents/carers to build awareness and knowledge on the subject and reduce the risks of themselves or the vulnerable, including children and young people, becoming victims.”
Justice Minister David Ford launched the 2014 ‘Justice in the Community’ Awards on 19 June. 42 nominations were received and were considered by an independent judging panel consisting of Una McKernan, Deputy Chief Executive of NICVA (Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action), Jacqueline Irwin, Chief Executive of Community Relations Council for Northern Ireland, Tom McGonigle, Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland and Gareth Johnston formerly of the Department of Justice.