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Highland secondary pupils to receive mobile phone safety advice

Issued: 17 Aug 2010

Pupils in Highland secondary schools are to receive guidance on mobile phone safety as they return to school this week.

Advice in a joint letter from The Highland Council and Northern Constabulary to parents and carers of secondary pupils aims to raise awareness and specifically highlight the dangers of young people finding themselves in uncomfortable, compromising or illegal situations as a result of inappropriate use of mobile phones.

Hugh Fraser, The Highland Council's Director of Education, Culture and Sport said: "The use of mobile phones is very much part of the communication culture of today. For many pupils starting at secondary school this can often be when they get their first mobile. Many newer phones have internet accessibility and there are implications of this access that pupils, parents and carers need to consider. We are providing advice and information about internet safety and the use of mobile phones to help pupils make the right choices and stay safe."

The letter to parents and carers highlights that there is an increase of instances of young people receiving unwanted images/texts or sending inappropriate images of themselves. Using phones in this way has become known as 'sexting', which is defined as 'the act of sending sexually explicit images, videos or messages electronically'. Young people may be unaware that images may be circulated far and wide without their permission or knowledge. There are also future implications for young people who may not know that they could be breaking the law by receiving or sending such images.

Eddie Ross, Acting Detective Inspector of the Northern Constabulary's Public Protection Unit said: "Mobiles phones can be very important tools to keep young people safe and in touch with their families, however it is important that the far reaching consequences of the inappropriate use of mobile phones are appreciated. We hope that parents and carers will discuss the information and advice provided for them on issues of personal safety and the law using mobile technology."

Further information on mobile phone safety advice please contact: Louise Jones, Health Promoting Schools Manager, The Highland Council and NHS Highland tel: 01463 702066 or www.highlandesafety.wordpress.com

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme