Daily Safeguarding Update admin2021-08-25T09:28:15+00:00August 24th, 2021| Internet grooming levels reach record high New figures from the NSPCC show that online grooming crimes have increased nearly 70% in three years. The figures obtained from 42 police forces across England and Wales showed the number of recorded offences involving sexual communication with a child had increased by 69% since 2018. NSPCC warns that offenders are exploiting design flaws on social media platforms, enabling younger users to be targeted. 5,441 online grooming offences were recorded between April 2020 and March 2021. This calls for the Government’s plans for internet regulation in the upcoming Online Safety Bill to be strengthened. Full story, here. £20m to provide more early help for vulnerable families Thousands of vulnerable or low-income families in England will benefit from a multi-million-pound investment to improve access to early education, health and care services. Delivering on a manifesto commitment, the Government has set out plans to elevate its Family Hubs programme. Family Hubs will offer families, children, and young people somewhere to access a range of support services. These services include early education and childcare, mental health support, meetings with health visitors or attending parenting classes, counselling, or advice for victims of domestic abuse. The Hubs can be delivered in person and virtually through online services. Full story, here. Instagram is retiring the swipe up Instagram is retiring the swipe-up feature on Stories that allows people to visit external webpages by ‘swiping up’. The feature will no longer be available from the 30th of August. This function will be replaced by link stickers: tappable stickers in stories that take people to external websites. Only users with the swipe-up feature will be given access to link stickers initially. Currently, users must be verified or have at least 10,000 followers to gain access to the ‘swipe-up’ feature. However, Instagram is evaluating the decision to extend link stickers to more users on the platform. Full story, here. EA is opening the patents for some of its accessibility tech in games Electronic Arts is pledging to open its patents for some of its accessibility-related features across various games. These games include Apex Legends, FIFA and Madden. EA hopes that allowing open-source coding will help address current issues in games with brightness, contrast, and colour-blindness. This comes after the success of Apex Legends’ ‘ping system’ that allows players to engage in team-play without hearing or speaking. For tips on helping children stay safe while gaming, check out our blog post. Full story, here.