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British kids call police after bullying on Facebook

United Kingdom,Crime/Disaster/Accident, Fri, 13 Apr 2012 IANS

London, April 13 (IANS) Hundreds of British children, often on the verge of committing suicide, call the police every day after becoming victims of vicious bullying on social network Facebook.


The Daily Mail said many children are constantly being bombarded with abusive messages or have special Facebook pages set up just to bully them.


Peter Fahy, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, said children are being terrorised by cyber-bullies, and there were many children in his region who dial police emergency phone numbers.


"While it is difficult to capture the true figure, we have on average of 10 reports a day across the whole force concerning Facebook," Fahy said.


He said many children do not report the incidents or switch off their Facebook accounts.


Charity group ChildLine said cyber-bullying was behind 11 percent of the calls they receive. Internet and mobile phones also meant people were being exposed to cyber-bullying 24 hours a day.


Data obtained from hospitals revealed that there has been a 68 percent rise in the number of people under 24 who admitted to self-inflicting injuries.


Facebook said they were doing whatever they could to protect their members.


"Nothing is more important to us than the safety and security of the people who use the site. Unfortunately, one person determined to harass another will find ways to do so, both online and offline," a spokesman said.


"On Facebook, there are a number of measures people can use to stay safe. We encourage people to use our reporting tools, accessible across the entire site, use our blocking tools to prevent unwanted contact, and visit our Safety Centre, which contains tips about how to use Facebook as safely as possible," the spokesman said.


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