As hordes of children, or ghouls, vampires, zombies or whatever the case may be, prepare to head out onto the streets this Halloween, the NSW Police have provided some advice on ensuring children remain safe.
NSW Police Corporate Sponsor for Crime Prevention, Chief Superintendent Brad Shepherd, said with more and more children celebrating Halloween in New South Wales it is a timely reminder to provide everyone with some simple guidelines to ensure ‘trick or treating’ activities are done safely.
“Younger children should always be supervised by a parent, carer or responsible adult at all times.”
“It is important to recognise that not everyone celebrates Halloween each year — so it is best to stick to houses with decorations on their properties.”
Police will not tolerate damage to property.
“While it is an exciting time for everyone, remember to be aware of your surroundings and take extra care when crossing roads and driveways,” Ch Supt Shepherd said.
“If you’re a parent or carer heading out to join in the ‘trick or treating’ fun, make sure your house is locked and secure.”
It’s also a good idea to drive with extra care around the neighbourhood, as there will be a lot of excited kids around the streets and they may forget to look out for cars and bikes. “
Halloween safety tips for big kids
- Tell your parents or a responsible adult where you’re going and what time you’ll be home;
- Be respectful of your neighbours;
- Remain in familiar well-lit areas in your neighbourhood and don’t take short cuts;
- Be sure to stick to the footpaths and take extra care when crossing driveways or roads;
- Stay with your friends at all times and carry a mobile phone when ‘trick or treating’ in case of emergency;
- If you’re riding a bike or using a skateboard, ensure you’re wearing a helmet;
- Under no circumstances should you get into a vehicle with someone you don’t know; and,
- Don’t ever enter a stranger’s home, even if they invite you inside.”
A reminder on Useful Phone Numbers:
Tweed Heads Police Station: 07 5506 9499
Police Assistance Line: 131 444
Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000
In the event of an emergency or life-threatening situation, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.
In this section we look at ways to start talking with children and young people about their use of technology.
Do you know how your computer find the websites you are looking for?
Could you explain in simple terms how the internet works?
How accurate do you think search engines are?
Did you know that what you do on the internet can be tracked back to you?
When you get your first car, your parents or guardian usually explain how the engine works, how to change a tyre and check the oil. Once you pass a test, you are able to get your learners permit and drive supervised, until you are ready to get your driver’s licence. Today, however, many of us pick up a device (or hand one to our child) and start using it without fully understanding how it works and how we can stay safe.
This month, we’ve been looking at how the technology we use every day actually works. You can check out some of our videos on geotagging and wireless networks on the ThinkUKnow Facebook page. In this e-newsletter, we’re going to look at some more of the basics of how the technology, we often take for granted, works.
The World Wide Web 101
Without getting technical, the internet is a network of networks, connecting computers and other devices to each other. These connections require physical elements (hardware) such as personal computers, servers, routers and cables. The physical components are useless without a common set of rules for communicating with each other (protocols). These protocols allow devices to speak a common language and share information with each other.
To access a website, your device will connect to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) which will send your requested website through to a Domain Name Server (DNS). DNS servers are like the yellow pages of the internet. After receiving a website address (similar to a name of a company in the yellow pages) they will send back the Internet Protocol (IP) address needed to access the website (like a phone number from the yellow pages). The IP address is used by your device to communicate directly with the website (similar to calling a company after getting their phone number from the yellow pages).
While many people think the internet provides them with anonymity, they can be identified through their internet connection. As such, it is important that children and young people understand that they need to be accountable for their actions online.
How do search engines work?
We’ve all done it; had a question and typed it into a search engine and within seconds, there is a list of pages that help provide answers. So, how did the search engine find all of that information so quickly, and what determined the order of the results?
The most common process involves a search engine sending out software known as web crawlers that travel across the internet collecting information about web pages and adding them to its index. When you enter a query in a search engine, it doesn’t search the internet for results, but the index it has created on the internet. Each search engine uses its own algorithms to determine the results shown to you. These algorithms are based on the relevance of the page to your query, how many other sites link to that page, how popular it is, how current the content is, and what your previous searches have involved.
For these reasons, typing the same query into different search engines, or even the same engine on different devices, may create different results. The number one result of your query may not be the best answer to your question, only the result which the search engine thinks will be most relevant to you.
This article is a reproduction of the ThinkUKnow August 2015 newsletter.
Headspace Anti-Bullying Day Info Graphic
Cyberbullying can be an upsetting experience. Check out the infographic from our friends at headspace and have a look at the ThinkUKnow website (https://www.thinkuknow.org.au/kids/helpcyber.asp) for info on what to do if you are bullied online.
What does the law have to say?
Although bullying is not a specific criminal offence in Australian law, criminal and civil laws can apply in terms of, for example, harassment or threatening behaviour, and particularly relevant for cyberbullying – threatening and menacing communications.
Who should I talk to?
Tell an adult you trust about the cyberbullying. This could be a parent or carer, a teacher at your school, an aunt or uncle. If you tell someone they can help make it stop. The records you have saved can then be passed onto the adult you have told.
You should also talk to someone if you’ve been cyberbullying others as well. Chance are, you’re dealing with some heavy stuff and that might explain why you are tempted to cyberbully or can’t help cyberbullying others. You need help and support too!
If you feel you can’t talk to someone in person just yet, call Lifeline (13 11 14) or Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800). For more information and advice you can visit these sites:
If a parent says to a child “Police will take you away if you are naughty” the child will not trust or confide in Police when something has happened and will not approach Police if lost .
Police run a program in primary schools which aims to help children identify the safe adults in their community, as well as safe places to go when they are lost, feeling unsafe or frightened or are in danger. Other goals include enabling children to develop their own personal safety strategies, to respect their bodies and their personal space, and to feel empowered with the ability to say NO and seek help when they feel unsafe or unsure and to have the confidence to tell a trusted adult if they are being harmed in any way.
Please help spread this very important message to your children that Police are friends and are there to help.