Newham police Borough Commander Rob Jones on officers tackling cyber-bullying in schools
- Credit: Archant
This week, I would like to discuss the serious issue of cyber-bullying and young people.
Our Safer Schools officers work every day in our junior and secondary schools, providing an approachable police presence and a way for young people in Newham connect with the Met.
The team regularly give talks and advice about cyber-bullying, as well as taking steps to stop it happening and dealing with any related criminal offences.
Cyber-bullying is when people use information technology to deliberately upset someone else; this can happen on chat sites, instant messaging, through online gaming or via social media like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.
Cyber-bulling could take the form of insulting or offensive posts, numerous texts or phone calls or ganging up on one person.
This form of bullying has become more prevalent because so many children now have access to the internet and social media on their mobile phones.
This means that our kids are now potentially exposed to bullying online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and bullies have the power to scare and intimidate their victims not only during school hours, but also in their own homes.
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Although cyber-bullying is not a criminal offence in itself, some forms could amount to other offences like Harassment. It is more important than ever that our children have adults in their lives whom they can trust, who will make sure they know what their children are doing online and who they are contacting.
Make sure that your kids know that anything they post on the internet will ALWAYS be online and is never really ‘private’.
Talk to your children about the dangers of talking to strangers on the internet, and of course warn them never to meet up with a ‘friend’ that they met online - they might not be the person they said they were.
Encourage your kids to talk to you about what they do online, and make sure they know how to report inappropriate behaviour to the website concerned.
If you or a child you know is being bullied online, first, tell an adult that you trust.
You can always call the police on 101 or there are lots of other ways to get help - you can call Childline anonymously on 0800 1111 or have a look at www.beatbullying.org for advice.
The internet is a great place - as long as you’re careful!