Local mediation charity, Resolve, has partnered with Thames Valley Police through an innovative project to tackle cyberbullying in Reading.
Bullying has always been a problem, and with the increase of modern technology, there are even more opportunities for it to take place within a virtual world. What can start as an unkind text or a cruel social media post can rapidly grow into cyberbullying and sometimes end with tragic results. Young people are particularly at risk, and many do not have the skills or support to deal with these issues.
The trial anti-cyberbullying project, which is being funded by Thames Valley Police in Reading, provides training for young people aged between 11 and 18 years old. The interactive sessions, which discuss how to protect against cyberbullying and where to go for help and advice, have already been delivered to over 150 young people to date. Any victims of cyberbullying identified through the training can access Resolve’s mediators who work with both parties to find a resolution before the situation escalates.
The project is being promoted as part of Anti-Bullying Week which starts today (13/11).
Local Policing Area Commander for Reading, Superintendent Stan Gilmour, said: “By raising awareness of cyberbullying during Anti-Bullying Week, we can highlight the impact that this type of crime can have on young people within our community.
“By working in partnership with Resolve, we can identify cases of cyberbullying in the early stages. In the longer term this approach will help to prevent such cases, reducing harm, and ultimately reducing demand on police services.
Resolve Service Manager, Siân Hooley, said: “Our training sessions, which are delivered by Law students from Reading University, have proved very popular. Young people tell us that the students are great role models as they are close in age and can relate to their needs regarding cyberbullying.
“As part of Anti-Bullying Week, we want more young people from Reading to benefit from our training and to know that our mediators can help when things go wrong.”
Anyone affected by cyberbullying should contact Thames Valley Police by calling the non-emergency number, 101. More advice about online safety is available on the Thames Valley Police website: https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/advice/protecting-yourself-and-others/cyber-crime-and-online-safety/
Note to editors:
Resolve provide mediation services in Oxfordshire and Berkshire designed to assist neighbours, people in the workplace, and those affected by cyberbullying.
Registered charity no 1061866
13 Boult Street, Reading, RG1 4RD, telephone 0118 959 7420, website www.resolvemediation.com.
Anti-Bullying Week takes place between Monday 13th and Friday 17th November 2017. It is organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance and more information can be found at www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/anti-bullying-week