Important Message About Online Gaming
26th January 2016
Tonight (Tuesday 26th) BBC3 will broadcast a new docudrama about the murder of 14-year old Breck Bednar after he was groomed online.
The programme sees Breck's family and friends recount how Breck was manipulated and isolated by Lewis Daynes, then aged 18, over the course of nine months. Breck was ultimately persuaded to meet Daynes in person at his Essex flat.
Lewis Daynes was sentenced to life in prison and will serve a minimum of 25 years in custody. Further information about the case can be found here.
Young people are likely to be aware of, and watch, this programme. If you wish to take this as an opportunity to discuss the risks of online grooming, we suggest using our short film 'Tom's story' and supporting teaching materials with those aged 11+. These are available to download from the Thinkuknow Resources section.
A great article on our 14+ site gets young people thinking about who they are really talking to online. It's a no-nonsense guide, highlighting warning signs, tips for safe chat and where to get help if things go wrong.
Additionally, the BBC has produced a package of teaching resources to accompany the programme. They are intended for pupils aged 14+ and support the PSHE and Citizenship curriculum.
The resources contain three clips from the docudrama and printable teacher notes featuring teaching ideas and key questions. There is also a handout for pupils providing context and background to the story. These will be published on the Murder Games programme page - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03cgtx5 - after broadcast.
If you are affected by any of these issues, or believe your child is at risk during the use of their online gaming, I encourage you to look at these materials and watch the documentary tongiht.
Parents and carers can seek support if they are concerned that their child might be being groomed. They can contact their local police, children's social care department or report directly to CEOP.
Concerns can also be discussed with someone directly via the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.
If they believe their child is at immediate risk they should call 999.