Bullies taunt victims using web
NSW Minister for Police Michael Daley has warned parents to be on the look out for cyber bullying as the school holidays come to an end.
Mr Daley said that the NSW Government had tackled the issue of cyber-bullying with the introduction of the School Liaison Program – but it was essential for parents to be aware of their children’s online activities as well.
“Anyone with children knows how much time they spend on the computer,” he said.
“Teenagers are very tech savvy, using mobile phones, internet chat rooms and social networking sites to keep in touch with their friends and meet people.
“But many kids just don’t realise how easily that same technology can be used by bullies to threaten them, to embarrass them or cause them harm.
“Sadly, it can lead to depression, humiliation and even suicide,” Mr Daley said.
Cyber-bullying is the use of computers and other electronic communications such as mobile phones, to commit traditional crimes such as stalking and intimidation.
Mr Daley said that a rise in cyber-bullying led the NSW Government to deploy 40 specialist School Liaison Police officers at High Schools across the state in 2007 as part of a crime prevention plan.
“Since the start of the year, the School Liaison Police have conducted more than 5250 school visits and approximately 930 cyber-bullying workshops state-wide,” he said.
“School Liaison Police in conjunction with teaching staff have developed Crime Prevention Workshops to reduce violence and anti-social behaviour.
“One of the workshops conducted by our School Liaison Police is designed to provide young people with information about cyber crime and what they can do to protect themselves.
“These presentations give local police the opportunity to build relationships with teenagers and allow young people to engage with the police on issues of personal safety, online safety, their responsibilities and the laws that impact on them.
“I would like to encourage young people to talk to their friends, parents, teachers or police if they are uncomfortable with anything they have seen online,” Mr Daley said.