By Colin Maxwell


September 15, 2008

Safe Fifer is a multi-agency child safety event, held in Scotland, supported by Fife Constabulary, Fife Fire and Rescue Service and several other agencies and businesses. The event, which attracts several thousand school children from across the Fife area, is intended to drive home safety messages in a variety of important safety areas.
Safe Fifer presentation
This year, one important consideration was the increasing problem of online child safety, and in particular the dangers of posting information publicly on social networking sites. To help deliver the safety message Fife constabulary enlisted the help of local college students and staff to create an interactive presentation about using social networks.
Colin Maxwell, lecturer at Carnegie College, said “The local police wanted an interactive and engaging way of warning school children about posting information publicly on social networking sites. They wanted a simulation of a social network site that was interactive and could incorporate video. The best choice of software for constructing this was Adobe Flash, as it was easy to make graphics, add video and create interactivity”.
Schools and communities Officer, Police Constable Shirley Steele, said “It was great working with the students and their lecturer Colin Maxwell…they were able to provide us with professionally designed software along with input from a younger person’s perspective”.
The safety message will be extended to high school pupils over the forthcoming months as PC Steele has joined forces with Anne Deas of Fife Education Service to train school teachers to deliver the material.
Part of the presentation consists of a video developed by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, which can be seen on Youtube.