A dad is setting up a cyber bullying charity – because he feels police and schools “simply do not do enough” to support victims.
Scott Freeman from Brighton, whose own daughter was targeted by internet ‘trolls’, will launch ‘Cybersmile’ in the next few weeks.
The group will campaign for specific Government legislation to outlaw cyber bullying and will provide information, guidance, and advice to people of all ages who are concerned about online safety.
Scott said: “I have personally seen the damage that cyber bullies can do.
“It’s the anonymity and the lack of accountability but if there were real consequences then things might be different.
“But the police hardly do anything in my experience.
“We want to give children help and guidance so that they can stay safe. We’ll also be running workshops to promote an understanding of what’s happening.”
Difficult to track
Sussex Police told The Argus that none of its officers are dedicated to pursuing cyber bullies because they are “notoriously difficult” to track down.
A police spokeswoman also revealed the force has no policy on Facebook abuse despite the site being the most popular social network in the world.
She said: “We don’t have a dedicated unit or person that deals with online bullying.
“It’s very hard to prove what is going on but we are certainly taking it seriously.”
She added: “As Facebook is an international website, millions of people from all over the world use it.
"We need to gather evidence to prove who the person is for a successful prosecution to take place.”
Caroline Adams, from Sussex Police’s Youth Safety Intervention Team, also admitted there are no officers dedicated to detecting cyber bullies.
“It’s true that there is no specialised unit to deal with it. But the sad reality is that it is difficult to justify the manpower when it is so difficult to prove wrongdoing,” she said.
“We have got a computer unit but they tend to only deal with the most serious cases involving paedophiles.
“We do work very hard on preventing cyber bullying and giving kids advice about how to deal with harassment. But if that’s what someone wants to do it’s very difficult to stop them.”