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British police watching for cyberbullies

Feb. 26, 2011 at 12:49 PM   |   Comments

LONDON, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- British police say they will start giving perceived cyberbullies a digital tap on the shoulder if their online behavior starts crossing the line of civility.

Thames Valley Police will begin looking over Facebook messages and warn suspected bullies that their actions could result in prosecution.

The idea is to defuse online conflicts that could degenerate in the physical world, The Daily Telegraph said Saturday. The alleged violators' parents will be notified as well.

"We are aiming to nip the problem in the bud and prevent it becoming something more serious," said police Constable Dave Thomas. "Social networkers, whatever their age, often don't think about what they are writing in the same way they would think about what they write in a letter or an e-mail."

The newspaper said Internet bullying and abuse has been blamed for a number of teenage suicides in recent years.

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