Asda supports online safety competition for young people (17 Sep 2018)

As schools return for the beginning of a new year, pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 are being challenged to develop a resource to help keep each other safe online.

Across England and Wales 1.5 million cyber offences were recorded last year and it is thought that many more were unreported.

West Yorkshire Police and the county's Police and Crime Commissioner have joined forces with Leeds-based Asda, to run a cyber crime competition for the second year, following a successful pilot last year.

Young people taking part are challenged to form a team and design a resource to help keep people safe online. It can take any form such as a website, leaflet, phone app or even a rap.

Teams have until 7 December to design, test and launch their resources.

Entries will be shortlisted and six groups will go through to the grand-final at West Yorkshire Police's training centre in Carr Gate Wakefield on 14 February 2019.

All finalists will be awarded certificates recognising their contribution to making communities safer.

The overall winner of the competition will take home a prestigious trophy, a tour of West Yorkshire Police's specialist operations site which includes the Mounted Section, Dog Section and Helicopter, and a trip to Asda's Head Office in Leeds to go behind the scenes at one of the UK's largest companies.

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) said: "It is fantastic to have Asda on board who have their head office in West Yorkshire, which will definitely help to promote and increase the reach of the competition.

"We really want as many groups to take part as possible and I would encourage parents, teachers and of course young people themselves to ask their schools to get involved.

"Tackling cyber crime remains a key focus in my recently refreshed Police and Crime Plan for West Yorkshire and young people have a crucial role in helping us to better understand and tackle the issues associated with it.

"I would like to wish the very best of luck to all those who enter and I look forward to seeing their creative ideas and resources being produced in a few months' time."

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Foster of West Yorkshire Police, said: "Cyber-crime is rapidly becoming more and more of an issue - the threat of the computer has now become the new go to tool for many criminals to commit crime.

"It's important that young people know the risks and dangers associated with cyber-crime and education is key in informing them about it and this competition does just that.

It will be great to see young people getting involved in the competition and hopefully it will recognise talented youngsters who have IT skills which can be used after they leave education and step into the world of work."

Phil Tenney, Chief Digital and Technology Officer at Asda, said: "Ensuring our customers stay safe and secure online is hugely important to all of us at Asda, so we're pleased to be working alongside the Police and the PCC to promote cyber safety in our home county of West Yorkshire. Raising awareness and encouraging the next generation to think about their online safety is crucial, and we're very much looking forward to seeing the ideas that the students come up with."

To find out more about the competition, including how to take part visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk/cyber-contest.

Cyber Competition Poster

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2018