New Dot Com programme to beat county lines attracts over 1,000 schools
Main article content
Essex Police works with local primary school to help children avoid drugs gangs and stay safe.
Over 1,000 schools from all over the UK have come forward in the space of just one month to find out how they can do more to protect children from online exploitation by county lines drugs gangs.
Since Christmas, 1,363 schools from as far afield as North Wales and North London have registered their interest in a new online programme led by a cartoon character – Dorothy ‘Dot’ Com – who helps children avoid the dangers of county lines gangs, online grooming and other dangers.
Essex Police worked with teachers and pupils at a primary school in South Ockenden in Essex, to identify the biggest risks facing young people and develop an online programme that helps them:
- Spot dangerous situations
- Tell their teacher if something is worrying them
- Feel confident about exploring the internet, in safety
The result, the creation of ‘Dot Com’, is an acknowledgement by the Police in Essex and by local teachers that we must all work together to protect young people and to tackle exploitation in all its forms before it takes place.
The former Chief Constable of Essex Police, Stephen Kavanagh, first spotted the potential of ‘Dot Com’, and his work has been carried forward by the current Chief Constable, Ben-Julian Harrington who took up the post in 2018.
Today, Thursday 23 January, at Bett 2020 at Excel London, both they and other senior police officers will unveil the ‘Dot Com’ programme to thousands of teachers around the world along with the children from Essex who helped create it, along with 2Simple, the technology firm who have created the online platform which enables teachers to inter-act with pupils and with ‘Dot’ as part of PSHE lessons in the classroom.