mobile phones modern menace

1 in 4 children in the UK have been bullied or threatened via their mobile phone or PC according to a survey commissioned by leading UK children’s charity NCH . The results, announced today (April 15), have led NCH to call for greater awareness of the problem amongst parents and teachers, and better education for children and young people on how to deal with 21st century bullying techniques.

Mobile phones appear to be th

he most commonly abused medium with 16% of young people saying they’d received bullying or threatening text messages, followed by 7% who had been harassed in Internet chat-rooms and 4% via e-mail. Worryingly when asked who they had reported the bullying to, 29% of those surveyed said that they told no one. Of the 69% who did tell someone 42% turned to a friend and 32% to a parent.

John Carr, Associate Director of NCH’s Children and Technology Unit, says:
“On-line bullying is a modern menace which needs to be

e addressed. If we want our children to benefit from all the good things IT has to offer, we need to protect them from the risks it poses.

NCH’s concern is that children as young as 11 are being faced with ta

aunts or threats from an often anonymous source. They’re either not telling anyone and suffering in silence, or are confiding in people who themselves don’t know how to deal with it effectively. The more people know that it happens, the easier it will be for children to cope with on-line bullying.”

NCH has three simple pieces of advice for children and young people to remember:
 Don’t put up with bullying! Always tell someone you trust what’s happening – your Mum or Dad, a teacher or a friend – and try to find a way to stop it.
 Always be careful who you give your mobile phone number or e-mail address out to. If you do start being bullied through your phone or computer, your mo

obile phone or Internet service provider can help you by changing your number or address;
 If you receive messages that upset or frighten you, make a record of the times and dates you received them, and report them to the police.

NCH believes that this issue is the responsibility of everyone – parents, the education system and the industry. It recommends that:
 all schools should amend their bullying policies to include text and on-line abuse and make a commitment to educate teachers, as we

ell as pupils;
 all parents should make sure they know who to contact and what to do if their child is a victim and talk the issue through with their family ;
 all ISPs and mobile phone companies should take responsibility for finding effective ways of dealing with complaints and providing advice on the subject to their users.

Parents, teachers and children can find further details on how to deal with Internet safety issues on the NCH IT OK web-site – NCH also run bullying workshops in schools across the UK. To find out more you can e-mail

For press enquiries and to arrange an interview, please contact Helen Crow at NCH’s Media & PR Office on 020 7704 7106. Out of hours 07802 806 679.

Notes to editors
1. NCH conducted the survey to find out more about how young people are using new technology and the impact it is having on their lives. For the full results contact Helen Crow on 020 7704 7106.
2. NCH works in partnership to run more than 460 projects for the UK’s most vulnerable children, young people and their families and in doing so supports over 89,000 people. For further information visit
3. NCH, formerly known as NCH Action for Children, was founded as the National Children’s Home in 1869.