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February 27, 2011

Berkshire police in Facebook anti-bullying scheme

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by Darren Allan

Facebook has its fair share of problems aside from the obvious privacy concerns which are often bandied about.

There’s also the growing amount of cyber-bullying which happens online, and on the social network, where youngsters have taken to tearing virtual strips off each other.

Police in Reading are launching a scheme to attempt to tackle some of the harassment of school kids, teachers and others which happens on Facebook.

The BBC reports that Thames Valley Police is enlisting the help of teenage volunteers in a campaign to track abuse. Those identified as bullies will be sent messages from the police warning them that further action could be taken against them, unless they desist.

Reading Safer Schools Officer PC Dave Thomas told the Beeb: “By sending a police warning notice on Facebook, students will be made aware they could be prosecuted.”

“By alerting their parents to the problem, we are aiming to nip the problem in the bud and prevent it becoming something more serious.”

If the scheme is successful then it may be expanded to other areas of the country.

There have been cases in the UK where kids have been driven to suicide over cyber-bullying campaigns which have been conducted against them.

Story link: Berkshire police in Facebook anti-bullying scheme

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