Published Monday, 23 September 2013
The number of incidents on Twitter and Facebook jumped to more than 2,100. (© Getty)
Launching a new initiative, police have said reports of offences or inappropriate behaviours committed on Facebook and Twitter have jumped from 71 in 2010 to more than 2,100 last year.
"It is against this backdrop that we in C District decided to do something at a local level to try to address this emerging trend," Superintendent Yvonne Davidson said.
"With teenagers spending an increasing amount of time online we identified young people as particularly at risk from cyber crime. The ease of access to social media and other networks provided by Smartphone technology means that children are now rarely if ever 'offline'.
"As a consequence cyber bullying, cyber stalking, online grooming and harassment are day to day realities faced by many young people. As parents and as a society we must face up to this and equip our children with the right tools and skills to negotiate the online world safely and to recognise any danger signs when they occur."
A new play by Saltmine Trust Theatre company which tackles a range of online safety issues from cyber bullying and 'sexting' to online grooming will spread the message to secondary and grammar school pupils in the district.
"By bringing the Saltmine play into local schools and offering children the opportunity to engage in the workshop, we aim to start the conversation locally and get young people thinking about their own online safety," Supt Davidson continued.
Following the play a workshop will aim to encourage discussion and debate around the play's themes, and children will be able to ask questions and get advice from PSNI neighbourhood police officers - who will share information on current legislation surrounding online activity.
The District roll out of the initiative begins with Dundonald High School on Monday 23 September.
© UTV News