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December 18, 2023

Dowden gives clearest signal yet on social media ban for under 16s 

  • Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden did not deny reports that the government was actively looking at social media restrictions for those under 16.
  • It is understood that the Online Safety Act took so long to be passed, because a new review of potential harms to teenagers from social media was necessary.
  • However, this provision did not make its way into the final act.
  • Mr Dowden stated that there was “a real worry from parents about how they can protect their children from the harms of social media.”
  • Critics argue that banning certain age groups is a blunt tool but hope the threat could push bigger tech companies into bulking up their online security tools.
  • Mr Dowden explained today that banning seemed “unconservative”, but that they needed to “look at how we can protect children online and I think any reasonable government should do that.”
  • For more, please visit the Sky News website.

NSPCC urges people to Walk for Children this Christmas 

  • The NSPCC are calling on the public to rally friends and family together to take part in a 5km Walk for Children to raise vital funds for the charity and its Childline services.
  • Lanmark buildings across Wales and the UK are set to light up green on the longest night of the year in support of the NSPCC.
  • Emma Brennan, supporter fundraising manager at NPSCC Cymru reported: “Our Childline service is expecting a child to contact them every 45 seconds this Christmas, and while it’s free for them to contact the service over the phone or internet, every counselling session costs the charity around £4.”
  • Last Christmas, Childline delivered more than 1,000 high-risk counselling sessions, with 64% of high-risk calls and web chats coming in after dark.
  • To find out more or sign up for this year’s Walk for Children, you can go to and search ‘WALK FOR CHILDREN.’
  • For more, please visit the Yahoo News website.

Belfast restaurateur ‘can’t remember accessing indecent images of kids due to meth use’ 

  • A former restaurant boss who was caught with more than 100 indecent images of children has been ordered to complete a 30-month probation order.
  • He reported that he could not remember accessing the images as he was a “heavy meth user” at the time.
  • The judge said it was also clear from a report by consultant psychiatrist Professor Davidson that his character traits “are not those of a paedophile.”
  • He received a 30-month probation order, and a five-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order, which compels him to require permission for where he can live, where he can work, and how he accesses the internet as well as to disclose his convictions to any new romantic partner.
  • He was also ordered to sign the police sex offenders register for five years.
  • The judge stated: “It is important that the word goes forth from these courts that these crimes will not be tolerated and there is a victim for each photograph taken.”
  • For more, please visit the Belfast Telegraph website.