Sinn Féin candidate urges vigilance following NSPCC internet warning

Hayleigh Fleming.
Hayleigh Fleming.

A prospective Sinn Féin candidate in next year's local government elections has urged parents to be vigilant around online video chats and live-streaming after the NSPCC warned they could leave children vulnerable to abuse.

Hayleigh Fleming, who was recently selected to run on the Sinn Féin ticket in the Foyleside District Electoral Area (DEA) in next May's elections to Derry City and Strabane District Council, said: "I would urge parents to be extremely vigilant of their children's usage of the internet.

"The internet is such a big part of our young people's lives, with up to 95 percent of 15 to 24-year-olds owning a smartphone, therefore it is critical that they understand the dangers."

She noted that while modern technology opens up many benefits it can also pose dangers if its use is not monitored.

"While the internet offers opportunities for us all to connect with each other and engage with society in new ways, it can also expose children and young people to very real dangers.

“I therefore emphasise the importance of parents speaking to their children about the dangerous elements of the internet to ensure that children and young people themselves can keep themselves safe," she said.