By Corinne Hall
AN MP has come out to urge victims of online bullying to come forward and not to suffer in silence and an Ayrshire student support worker has backed the call.
Labour politician Luciana Berger was the victim of online trolling herself after receiving anti-Jewish posts and is fearful the electronic abuse could spill on to the streets of the UK.
Luciana said: “Under British law those who perpetrate these horrific crimes can and will be brought to justice; and it recognises that the British values of equality, tolerance and mutual respect that we hold dear, apply as much on the internet as they do offline.
Luciana said: “It was in the midst of this ‘Filthy Jewish Bitch’ campaign the police were in constant contact with me. They were in my office and home and assisted my personal safety.”
Local SAUWS case worker, Barbara Robertson, said: “We issue all new students with booklets on online bullying.
“We are there for students to advise them in the best way as to how to deal with online bullying.”
As well as supporting students if they find themselves suffering from online bullying the Student Association at the University of the West of Scotland advises them on how to avoid becoming an online bully themselves.
The SAUWS handbook advises: “Social networking is a great way to keep in contact, especially if you’re away from home.
“However, think carefully about what you say and the trouble you could find yourself in if you make offensive or intimidating comments.
“Online abuse such as ‘cyber bullying’, may be treated as a criminal matter.”
It also advices students to be safe on line in terms of their identity as trolls may try use their images as fake profiles to bully others online.
Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC said: “The use of false online profiles and websites still mean they are traceable, and these people can and will be pursued, just like the appalling individual who earlier this week was convicted of offences arising from a racist campaign against the honourable member for Liverpool Wavertree.”