Kent Police has been supporting partners in raising awareness of gaming and online safety through a series of events this week.
The Gaming – Awareness of Hate and Extremism events took place on 27th and 28th July at locations in Folkestone, Dover, Ramsgate and Chatham and gave gamers the opportunity to board a gaming bus with access to various virtual reality simulators and games.
The event, led by the Kent and Medway Prevent team, enabled officers and staff to engage with young people and others of all age groups to provide advice and support.
They spoke to young people to spread awareness around hateful extremism around gaming and safety online and how to counter this.
Superintendent Warren Franklin from Kent Police said: ‘Gaming is an area where hatred can be spread, and it is also an area where extremists can use the space to align their views and build familiarity with the gamer.
‘This threat has increased significantly and is something we want everyone online to be aware of. Radicalisation can happen anywhere, so it is vital that people understand the risks and how to game and interact safely.
‘This is just one method of engagement we use as we know people, especially young people can be vulnerable in these spaces.’
Tips on how to stay safe online
Don’t give out personal information – such as your full name, email address, phone number, home address, photos, or school name to people you are chatting with online.
Meeting someone you have only been in touch with online can be dangerous. Only do so with your parents’ or carers’ permission and even then, only when they can be present.
Information you find on the internet may not be true, or someone online may be lying about who they are. Make sure you check information before you believe it.
Tell you parent, carer or a trusted adult if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried, or if you or someone you know is being bullied online.