Hanham Hackers hailed!

February 03 2017

A TEAM of students from Hanham Woods Academy, the ‘Hanham Hackers’, won a competition aimed at helping the police tackle online crime.

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A TEAM of students from Hanham Woods Academy, the ‘Hanham Hackers’, won a competition aimed at helping the police tackle online crime.

The Year 10 students saw off competition from five other schools in the Avon and Somerset area in the Children’s Takeover Challenge with their plan to tackle what they identified as the top threat online: just how easy it is to create a false persona.

The team were rewarded with the chance to talk to Chief Constable Andy Marsh about the issue when he visited their school. Afterwards, they were treated to a demonstration by the police dog handlers.

Superintendent Simon Ellis, who was involved in selecting the winning plan, said: “Each of the six school teams who took part was challenged with carrying out some initial research into their peers’ use of the internet before attending a pretty gruelling day where they carried out various tasks in order to devise their plans. What they achieved was a real credit to them and the research and ideas of all six will inform our force’s approach to tackling online crime going forward.”

Team captain Charley Farrell, 14, said she had enjoyed the challenge and felt the team had been able to give the police some useful information.

"There are things that older people would not know about how we are treated online and how we deal with it," she said.

Team member Emilia Brobin, 15, agreed that adults sometimes did not understand teens' online lives or might turn a blind eye.

"The competition was an amazing insight into what the police do and how they deal with problems," she said.

Police Community Support Officer Catherine Boyce, who mentored the students, all of whom are studying computer science GCSE, said she was proud of their success.

"It is fantastic," she said. "They surprised me with their confidence and the way they spoke up on the day."

Steve Kneller, Principal of Hanham Woods Academy, said: “The internet safety of our students is of paramount importance to us. In lessons in school students learn how to stay safe and secure while using the internet, so to win this prestigious award is amazing."

For information about how to protect your children online, visit: www.getsafeonline.org.