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North Yorkshire Police tackles online harassment during anti-bullying week

Last modified: 12 November 2018 at 02:38pm

North Yorkshire Police is tackling cyberbullying and online harassment during anti-bullying week.


The theme for Anti-Bullying Week 2018, which runs from Monday 12 November to Friday 16 November, is: ‘Choose Respect’ over bullying.

Following a consultation by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) with over 800 children, teachers and members of the ABA, it emerged that a top priority was showing that bullying is a behaviour choice, and that children and young people can set a positive example by opting to respect each other at school, in their homes and communities, and online.

The consequences for the victims of bullying are demoralising, relentless and can be life changing.

Anti-Bullying Week seeks to support schools and other settings to help children and young people, school staff, parents and other professionals who work with children to understand:

  • The definition of respect
  • That bullying is a behaviour choice
  • That we can respectfully disagree with each other i.e. we don’t have to be best friends or always agree with each other but we do have to respect each other
  • That we all need to choose to respect each other both face to face and online

Throughout the week North Yorkshire Police will be sharing tips and advice across social media using the hashtags #ChooseRespect and #AntiBullyingWeek about how to stay safe online including what to do if you are being bullied and advice for parents and guardians.

Officers will also be attending and delivering anti-bullying and internet safety sessions and assemblies with schools in North Yorkshire during the week.

The force will also be signposting to a range of materials produced by colleagues at West Mercia Police aimed to promote self‐help and support for families and young people.

These products are available in six languages and include video for people who are deaf or hard of hearing and audio for people who are blind and visually impaired. They are available here: https://www.safe4me.co.uk/child-centred-policing/?tab=cyberbullying-and-online-harassment

Commenting on the week of action, Sergeant Neil Northend who overseas North Yorkshire Police’s youth engagement programme said:

“Bullying can have a detrimental effect on young people, on their mental health, well-being, relationships and education. Bullying doesn’t just affect children but adults too and has no place in society.

“Anti-bullying week helps to highlight the different organisations out there for people to get support from. If you are being bullied – please speak with someone you can trust, a parent, friend, teacher or family member who can help give you that initial support.

“Let’s take a stand against bullying ‘Choose respect’ and say ‘NO’ to bullies.”

Detective Superintendent Allan Harder, Head of Safeguarding at North Yorkshire Police, said:

“Cyberbullying and online harassment can be extremely distressing. Victims may experience low self-esteem, withdrawal from family and spending a lot of time alone, reluctance to let parents or other family members anywhere near their mobiles, laptops and finding excuses to stay away from school or work.

“If you believe that you are the victim of bullying or if someone is pressurising you to do things online that you don’t want to do such as sending a sexual text, image or video it can be hard to talk about but you should not deal with it alone.

“Try and talk to a trusted adult such as a parent, family member, carer or teacher or a friend or contact a support organisation such as NSPCC or Bullying UK for confidential help and advice.

“If you are ever threatened with physical harm you should always report it to the police.”

To report a crime if it’s not an immediate emergency, phone 101. In an emergency always phone 999.

Alternatively, if you do not wish to speak to the police the following organisations can be contacted for further confidential advice and support:

Throughout the year, North Yorkshire Police provide regular inputs and sessions with young people around bullying, social media and internet safety working closely with schools, education providers and youth groups.

If schools or youth groups would like to talk to North Yorkshire Police around issues relating to bullying they can contact their Local Policing Team or area Youth Officer for advice and support.

For more information about cyberbullying visit: northyorkshire.police.uk/cyberbullying

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