A CRIMESTOPPERS conference was held to help combat cyber crime.

Fifty of South Cumbria’s youth workers and teachers gathered iat the Stonecross Manor n Kendal to learn more about the online dangers posed to youngsters.

Gary Murray, North West Regional Manager for Crimestoppers, said: “The idea of today is to educate workers and teachers of the dangers that our young people face today.

“Victims can be in their own homes but they don’t realise.

“Young people don’t always know that they’re victims.”

Funded by Community Safety Partnerships, the day focused on protecting and safeguarding young people, through training sessions on cyber crime including internet safety, restorative justice and the dangers of legal highs.

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes, who introduced the day, said he was there to promote the policies on which he was elected.

On the subject of restorative justice, Mr Rhodes said: “Seventy per cent of people in prison have a reading and writing age of a child aged 11.

“They leave homeless and jobless, are unemployable, and when they come back out they go back to crime, it’s the revolving door.”

He claimed that this was due to the “inadequacies” of dealing with youth offenders.

A major part of the Cumbria Crimestoppers event was to make people aware of the website fearless.org, aimed at encouraging people to report crime.

Lynda Shaw, chair of Cumbria Crimestoppers, said: “Often people associate ringing the police with serious crime, but it’s relevant to everyday life.

“People are frightened of the repercussions, but this is a way they can access help if they are in trouble.”

Ms Shaw added that she hoped the message would “cascade” through Cumbria through the workers and organisations present.

Those attending included Police Community Support Officers plus representatives from Dalton Learning Centre, the Brathay Trust, Ambleside, and Cumbria Youth Alliance.

There were representatives from all the secondary schools in the South Lakes including Kirkbie Kendal, Queen Katherine School and Ulverston Victoria High.

The training day was the first of its kind in the county, but it is to be replicated in the north of the county.

Crimestoppers operates the 24/7 0800 555 111 telephone number for people to pass on information about crimes anonymously. Information can also be passed anonymously through the charity’s website at www.crimestoppers-uk.org or www.fearless.org