CHILDREN across Portsmouth will be given a free book in a bid to tackle cyber bullying.
Today marks the start of national anti-bullying week and Portsmouth City Council has launched a brand new campaign called Beware of Lurking Trolls.
The council has teamed up with the Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Board (PSCB), the Youth Parliament, and the University of Portsmouth.
The campaign is aimed at raising awareness to children and young people of the dangers they face when online, using social media and mobile phones.
Councillor Rob Wood, the council’s cabinet member for children and education, said: ‘The internet is a fantastic way for children to learn and have fun.
‘Most children are more adept at using the internet, tablets and apps than us adults. But along with this skill comes massive risk, as they’re unaware of the dangers they may be opening themselves up to.’
The campaign and book features four troll characters, each one representing a different area of online danger or threat.
Copies of the children’s book are being sent out to all primary schools and libraries in the city.
Every child in Year 4 will be given a free copy, and multiple copies will be available in school libraries.
Cllr Wood added: ‘I’m thrilled we’re dealing with this issue in such a big and vibrant way. We need to communicate with our young people directly.
‘Our campaign speaks to young children in a very simple and fun way through the innovative use of a children’s book.
‘Through the characters in the story we show them how to be careful online, when using social media, and what to do if they recognise themselves in these situations.
‘Protecting young people online is an absolute priority for us.’