Team of young people created to advise others experiencing problems online

A programme designed to prevent young people from being at risk of cyber bullying has been launched.

The online safety training scheme called Be Smart aims to tackle issues young people may come across while online including exposure to sexual content and issues with their online profile.

Launched by Police Scotland along with 90 high school pupils from the East Renfrewshire area, the programme aims to create a team of young people who would be able to give advice to those experiencing problems online.

Deputy Chief Constable Johnny Gwynne said: “With cybercrime developing as an increasing threat to communities, programmes like Be Smart are crucial to educate children and young people that they must take steps to keep themselves as safe in the online virtual world as they would in the real world.

“The benefits of peer mentoring are clear – children and young people respond well to their equals who can deliver information in a relatable and easy to understand manner, making it more likely they will pay attention and take the advice seriously.”

The Scottish Government initiative was designed by cyber security firm Trend Micro and is part of its Choices for Life Programme.

Mark McDonald, the Scottish minster for childcare and early years said: “We want all of our children and young people to benefit from the great opportunities the internet has to offer in a safe and secure environment.”