Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 11°C

Search

Suffolk Cybersurvey reveals increase in number of 15-year-olds viewing pro-anorexia and self-harm sites online

PUBLISHED: 00:01 06 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:07 06 February 2018

University of Suffolk's Professor Emma Bond and Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore at the launch of the Suffolk Community Foundation's Stay Safe Online campaign. Picture: GREGG BROWN

University of Suffolk's Professor Emma Bond and Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore at the launch of the Suffolk Community Foundation's Stay Safe Online campaign. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Almost half of 15-year-olds in Suffolk are researching anorexia online and a third are using the internet to view self-harm sites, according to an annual survey into online safety.

Suffolk county councillor Gordon Jones is urging parents to keep a close eye on what their children are viewing online. Picture: JAMES FLETCHER Suffolk county councillor Gordon Jones is urging parents to keep a close eye on what their children are viewing online. Picture: JAMES FLETCHER

This year’s Suffolk Cybersurvey, published today, also reveals there has been an 8% increase in the number of 15-year-olds ‘sexting’, a rise from 11% in 2016 to 17% last year.

The results show that 44% of 15-year-olds are visiting pro-anorexia sites – up 9% on 2016 – and the number looking at self-harm promoting sites has also jumped 13% to almost a third of children in the same age bracket.

The survey reveals a clear drop in parental input for children aged 15 and over, which according to the authors, correlates with the increase in risk-taking behaviour.

This is despite the good news that more parents are delivering messages of online safety to their children from a young age –with 62% of children saying they always listen to parents’ advice, up from 57%in 2016.

Eight in ten are also taught about online safety at school.

Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said he was “obviously concerned” about the risks taken by 15-year-olds. But he said he was encouraged by parents’ increased involvement in their children’s internet use.

“These trends are deeply worrying,” he said.

“We have got to do what we possibly can to stop this happening – prevention is far better than cure.”

He added that internet safety should be “a priority”, and Suffolk should aim to teach safe practice to 100 %of children at school.

“In an ideal world every child at school would be taught about online safety, it should be a compulsory part of every child’s education,” Mr Passmore said.

Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, education and Skills, said of the results: “I would urge parents and schools to continue to re-enforce messages of online safety with children from a young age and vitally, sustain this support through their teenage years.

“It is also important to keep a close eye on what children are viewing online as well as the length of time they spend.”

The results released today coincide with National Safer Internet Day. To find out more, or to register as a supporter, visit www.saferinternet.org.uk

Home Office staff are hoping to speak to former Ipswich Mayor Inga Lockington as soon as possible to try to ensure that her path to British citizenship is smoothed.

A drive to build a new breast care centre at Ipswich Hospital has captured the hearts of the public, passing the £100,000 mark just six months after the launch.

Proposals to turn the former Odeon cinema on Major’s Corner in Ipswich into a new centre for the Hope Church look set to take a big step forward next week.

A man who inflicted an “horrendous and premeditated” attack on his wife before setting himself on fire has been jailed for 14 years.

Proposals to turn the former Odeon cinema on Major’s Corner in Ipswich into a new centre for the Hope Church look set to take a big step forward next week.

The owl, who is thought to be a male, was found at the beginning of May having been hit by a car on the A12 southbound toward Seven Hills.

The six artists, who all live in Hackney Road, Melton, discovered their mutual interest in painting and other media and decided to get together to showcase their work.

Police in Suffolk have launched a brand new phone system to maximise the efficiency of the non-emergency line.

A Shetland pony from East Anglia who works with the elderly in care homes has been named a dementia ambassador by the East of England Co-Op.

A campaign to make Ipswich a better place for people living with dementia has taken a leap forward.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24