Police investigate cyber bullies

Reports of what’s known as cyber-bullying have recently been made to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

Investigators said it appears some students in the Cayman Islands are creating websites or using social networking sites to abuse and harass other teenagers.

Police said the practice appears to be a technological progression of bullying. In the past, students might have written derogatory or threatening comments in notes or on walls; now they are being written on specially created websites such as HI5, MySpace and Facebook.

RCIPS Family Support Unit Sergeant Doris Morris said parents and guardians can play their part to report and prevent cyber-bullying.

‘Parents and guardians have a duty to be aware of what their children are doing when they are on the internet,’ Ms Morris said. ‘In this day and age, youngsters can be more competent with computers than their parents, but parents and guardians need to make sure they keep an eye on what is being done.

‘Technology can be used in harmful ways and parents should take an active interest in how the internet is being used.’

The Information and Communication Technology Authority Law makes it a crime to use a computer, including email messages, to threaten, harass or annoy somebody.

The RCIPS gives the following safety tips for parents and guardians with regard to on line monitoring:

*Get to know the websites and services your child uses and if you don’t know how to use them, ask.

*Set reasonable rules and guidelines for the amount of time your child spends using a computer and make sure those are followed.

*Do not use the computer or the internet as an electronic babysitter, try and make the internet a family activity and get involved.

*Know who your child’s ‘online friends’ are just as you would know who there other friends are.

Anyone wanting more information should contact the Family Support Unit on 946-9185.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling crime stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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