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The report reveals children’s biggest concern to be violence (54%), street crime (53%) and half of them (51%) worry about their parents arguing or divorcing.

UK kids demand more from Prime Minister to cut crime and keep them safe

26 February, 2009, UK A new report published today by Intuitive Media, provider of safe online learning communities for children, reveals clear demands on the Prime Minister to do more to listen to children; keep children safe; stop bullying; cut down gun and knife crime and ban drugs, alcohol and smoking.

Over 6,000 children, aged six to 14 years contributed to the report calling for extra policing and surveillance in parks and other places where they play and on their walk to and from school. One of the most popular suggestions from the children was an emergency number that they can call anytime they felt unsafe (63%) or more specifically a police helpline on their mobile (59%).

The children, all members of the government approved online learning communities, and took part in research asking what made them feel happy and safe in the real world and in their new online worlds were also invited to tell the Government how their lives could be improved. The children also revealed what concerns they would raise with the Prime Minister if they found themselves alone in a lift with him for 30 seconds.

Children said if they felt the streets were safe, 83 per cent of them would walk to school every day and if parks were safer 78 per cent of children would play out more. Nearly two thirds (60%) suggested using signs to either warn children a place is safe or unsafe to play.

The report reveals children’s biggest concern to be violence (54%), street crime (53%) and half of them (51%) worry about their parents arguing or divorcing. Nearly half, (48%) worry about their own health, and in recession-hit Britain, 40 per cent worry about being poor.

Overall, the report shows that most children (82%) do feel happy and safe most of the time and that the love of their family and friends is the most important source of happiness. However, they also said that boredom is the biggest downer (74%) along with adults who expect too much of them and having to work too hard. They want more freedom to play (52%), relax (49%) and pursue their hobbies (65%) and they want more time to spend in their online communities being creative (60%).

When looking at children’s everyday online behaviour, the report reveals there is still significant leeway for them to stray into risky behaviour online with over a third of children (38%) using their computers alone in their rooms giving them the opportunity to surf the web unsupervised and take part in private online conversations without their parents’ knowledge.

And, despite most children (80%) claiming they do understand the risk of giving personal contact details out to strangers online there is still a minority (15%), that don’t. In addition, 15 per cent of children said they wouldn’t tell their parents, teachers or friends if someone they met online came to their house (14%) phoned them (16%) or asked for their contact details (17%).

Key Findings

75% of children want government to cut down on gun and knife crime.

67% called for a ban on drinking and smoking for under 21s.

73% Want a halt to drugs trafficking and 60% want an end to poverty so people don’t need to steal.

14% of children said they don’t feel safe in their own homes

52% want police patrolling parks and places where kids go and 44% want patrols to protect them on the way to school.

63% want a number they can call if they feel unsafe

78% would play in parks if they were safer for kids

Only one in ten (11%) of children are carefree citing violence (54%) and street crime (53%) as key concerns for the majority followed closely by worrying about wars (51%)

60% say they have to work too hard and 44% say adults expect too much of them

48% of children worry about their health

42% of children are concerned about global warming and 33% worry about world poverty

Over 80% of children recognise the risk of giving out personal details online including personal contact details or telling where they play

74% of children blame boredom as the cause of their unhappiness with more than half of children wanting more time to play and relax

Happy and Safe - UK Children’s Happiness & Safety, published March 2009, Intuitive Media Research Services

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Notes to Editors:

Full report available on request

Happy & Safe published by Intuitive Media Research Services. The report contains research amongst 6398 children drawn from the membership base of its protected learning communities, which provide for 1,000,000 UK children aged six - 14 years, and over 18,000 of their teachers.

A number of children’s quotes to the Prime Minister along with anecdotal quotes on what children would like to see the Government address are available in the full report.

Regional comment from teachers and children who participated in the research is available on request.

Interviews available with report authors/contributors:

Professor Karen Pine BSc (Hons) 1st class; PhD (Herts), Professor of Developmental Psychology (co-author of The No Diet Diet and author of Sheconomics)

Robert Hart, co-founder and CEO, Intuitive Media, educator, blogger, social learning network expert advisor

Media enquiries:

Diane Davidson
Tel: +44 (0)208 781 0658

About Intuitive Media:

Intuitive Media provides award winning protected social networking and learning spaces for children aged six – 14 years who are able to engage safely in real online communities where they can learn, be creative, communicate and collaborate with other children of all backgrounds and cultures and make their voices heard in a protected environment. Intuitive Media’s safe social learning networks for children and young people include for primary children, for secondary and the biggest children’s contributory website on the planet.

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