Derbyshire police offer advice amid anti-bullying campaign

Anti-bullying campaigns are underway across the country for a national week of awareness.
Anti-bullying campaigns are underway across the country for a national week of awareness.

With national Anti-bullying Week well underway, police are offering support to youngsters to help them enjoy using social media safely and remind youngsters that they alays have the right to block or 'unfriend' someone online.

Actress Maisie Williams starred in Channel 4's hard-hitting drama Cyberbully in January 2015 to highlight the pitfalls of social media misuse and how bullies can take control very quickly.

Officers are encouraging social media users to use strong privacy settings on their accounts and to only accept friend requests or connect with people that they actually know. That way, users have control over who can see their posts, statuses and access their personal information and photographs.

Derbyshire police said: "Social networking is a great way to keep in touch with friends, share experiences and photographs, but sometimes people can use these sites to be abusive, offensive and nasty towards other users.

Youngsters are also urged to always tell someone that they trust if they are being bullied, or receiving upsetting messages online. Whether this is a friend, parent or adult at school, telling someone is often the first step in stopping it.

Further advice around cyberbullying includes:

* Always report bullying to the social network provider so that anything offensive can be removed completely from the site;

* If you are sent offensive message try to keep a record of this by using the ‘Print Screen’ key on a computer keyboard or using the camera or screen shot function on a mobile device.

* For more advice and support visit www.childline.org.uk and Derbyshire police's web hub, 'Protect Yourself Online' at www.derbyshire.police.uk/cybercrime.