SCHOOLCHILDREN in Aireborough and Wharfedale are being challenged to create a competition to boost online safety.

Pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 across West Yorkshire are invited to take part in this year’s Cyber Contest.

This is the third year that West Yorkshire Police and the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) have teamed up to run the event. School teams have until March 27 to design, test and launch a project - which can be anything from a website or phone app to a rap - to help keep people safe online.

Each entry needs to be submitted as a three minute YouTube video. Those videos will then be shortlisted with six groups going through to an X-Factor style grand final at West Yorkshire Police’s Training Centre in Carr Gate, Wakefield on May 14.

West Yorkshire’s PCC Mark Burns-Williamson said: “Tackling cyber crime is a key focus in my Police and Crime Plan and young people have a crucial role in helping us to better understand and tackle the issues associated with it.

“We are really keen for as many schools as possible to embrace this competition and join the fight against cyber criminals. I would encourage parents, teachers and of course young people themselves to ask their schools to get involved.”

Detective Inspector Dan Tillett of the West Yorkshire Police Cyber Crime Team added: “Whilst cyber crime can take many guises, children and young adults are the first line of defence - promoting digital hygiene in the home and utilising cyber protection techniques that thwart the attempts of cyber criminals.”

The competition winners will take home a £50 voucher for their school and a trophy. They will also be given a tour of West Yorkshire Police’s Specialist Operations Site and receive cyber safety advice from a member of the force’s Cyber Crime Team.

A UK Safer Internet Centre spokesperson said: “This is a great opportunity for young people to improve their understanding of online safety in a fun and rewarding way.”

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