A CARLISLE group say a slice of vital funding helped create a new eye-opening video to protect vulnerable people against the dangers of cyber crime.

Members from the city’s branch of Mencap were awarded £10,000 from the community fund by Cumbria’s police and crime commissioner Peter McCall.

The video, which is being produced by the group’s service users, will teach people of all abilities how to stay safe when using online social media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter.

Its production comes at a time when advantages in technology have meant that safety guidelines have struggled to keep apace, leaving a previous video created eight years ago out of date.

Once complete, the short film will be published on Facebook and YouTube to help spread the word to those using social media, of the known and unknown dangers that lurk online.

As part of the filmmaking process, Peter McCall visited the group’s Kingstown base on Tuesday to find out more about how the video is being designed and made accessible for people with learning difficulties - and was also interviewed as part of the video.

Sheila Gregory, chief executive of Carlisle Mencap, told the News & Star: “We’re grateful the commissioner awarded us money from the property fund to develop our online safety video for people with disabilities.

“The previous film on cyber-crime made just eight years ago has now, due to developments in technology, become obsolete. This is why is so important that we are able to produce an up-to-day relevant resource that explains how to use platforms such as Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram safely.

“It’s really important that that people with disabilities know how to keep safe on-line and the film aims to explain potential dangers and risk in an easy and accessible way.

“We’ve found many parents and carers need help with knowing how to support the people they care for and a film that is current, relevant and user friendly was very much needed.

“The film provides a clear explanation regarding the risks and dangers to people who may themselves become the possible perpetrator, due to a lack of understanding and knowledge.”

During his visit, Mr McCall added how vital it was for everyone to have access to up-to-date resources on staying safe online.

He said: “It’s good to be interested in the internet and it’s fantastic that with some support from the Community Fund, Mencap Carlisle are able to produce a film that provides easy and assessable guidance for people with learning difficulties.

“People with learning disabilities often struggle to do things many of us take for granted, they may not want to ask for help, feel that they are a burden and not want to bother people.

“Using the internet has many positive benefits and increasingly, vulnerable people with learning disabilities are learning and socialising using on-line platforms.

“With greater use, popularity and access to technology comes the increase in risk of cyber bullying, online grooming and risk of exposure to inappropriate content.

“I hope this up-to-date video will help to inform and refresh some of the safety facts in way that is easy to follow and understand.”