Cyber bullies to be ‘poked’ on Facebook by cyber police.
Cyber bullies using the internet to target their victims are to be warned they face prosecution by cyber police patrolling websites such as Facebook.
Officers from Thames Valley Police will send the messages in a trial of the first scheme of its kind to be launched on Monday.
The police will be joined by teenage volunteers to identify school-aged Facebook bullies who are harrassing fellow students.
The bullies will be told that their actions are breaking the law and they could face prosecution. The aggressor’s parents will be told that their child is an online bully and what the consequences could be.
The scheme’s designers hope the direct action will cut number of people harrassed over the internet.
Several suicides, particularly among teenagers, have been blamed on internet bullies in recent years.
Pc Dave Thomas, who devised the scheme, which will initially monitor schools in the Reading area, said: “By sending a police warning notice on Facebook, students will be made aware they could be prosecuted.
“We are aiming to nip the problem in the bud and prevent it becoming something more serious.
“Social networkers, whatever their age, often don’t think about what they are writing in the same way they would think about what they write in a letter or an email.
“If we have to investigate Facebook messages as harassment or public order offences and the young person gets charged, it could seriously affect their future.
“While we want them to realise how serious the matter is.”