Victoria Police has become the final state law enforcement agency to formally sign-up to the ThinkUKnow cyber safety education program, finalising the national roll-out of the program across Australia.
All Australian police forces are now part of the ThinkUKnow cyber safety program to deliver cyber safety messages in communities and schools within each state and territory.
Victoria Police Crime Command Assistant Commissioner Stephen Fontana said that while Victoria Police has been actively educating school children, parents and teaching staff in relation to cyber safety for several years, the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to join the program is a positive step in formalising the national approach with partner agencies.
“With technology rapidly expanding well beyond what we can predict, the safety of children when accessing the internet – including social media sites – is paramount,” he said.
On Safer Internet Day on 7 February, the announcement provides a timely reminder of the importance of cyber safety, and the need for ongoing education about safe online practices.
AFP National Manager Crime Operations Deborah Platz said the ThinkUKnow program brings law enforcement and industry partners together to educate and keep Australian children safe, by raising awareness of the risks presented by technology.
“Victoria Police’s commitment to the ThinkUKnow program highlights the ongoing importance that all law enforcement agencies have placed on ensuring young people are provided with the tools needed to navigate the online environment, and educating parents and teachers about how they can best support their children to stay safe,” Assistant Commissioner Platz said.
ThinkUKnow Australia is a partnership between the AFP, Microsoft Australia, Datacom, and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, delivered in collaboration Neighbourhood Watch Australasia and now all state and territory police.
ThinkUKnow cyber safety sessions cover topics including sexting, cyberbullying, online grooming, and privacy, and encourage children to speak with a trusted adult and to report suspect behaviour.
In 2016, state and territory police delivered 1,463 presentations to more than 150,000 school children. This is in addition to presentations delivered by accredited volunteers from ThinkUKnow industry partners.