New campaign urges young people to think before they send text messages

PUBLISHED: 09:38 16 January 2013 | UPDATED: 09:38 16 January 2013

Steve Gibbs NHDC’s Anti-Social Behaviour Office and Sgt. Richard Wilmot, North Herts Safer Neighbourhood Team, Hertfordshire Constabulary

Steve Gibbs NHDC’s Anti-Social Behaviour Office and Sgt. Richard Wilmot, North Herts Safer Neighbourhood Team, Hertfordshire Constabulary

Archant

YOUNG people are being urged to consider the consequences of sending abusive of threatening messages.

A new campaign, entitled Think B4 U send, has been launched by North Herts district council in conjunction with Hertfordshire Police.

It aims to educate young people in the district about the consequences of sending harmful, upsetting and possibly illegal electronic messages. Information highlighting the consequences will be distributed in schools and local youth clubs by Police Community Support Officers, Youth Connexions, and other agencies.

Cllr Trician Cowley, portfolio holder for community engagement at the district council, said: “It is apparent that many young people are not aware of the consequences of sending electronic messages that contain offensive or threatening content.

“This campaign aims to make it clear that this kind of behaviour has serious implications, not only for the person that receives the offensive message but also for the sender.”

Sending abusive or threatening texts, emails, instant messages or messages via social networks is a criminal offence that could result in a criminal record or fine or even lead to a prison sentence. It can also cause a great deal of distress to those who receive them.

Det Ch Insp Glen Channer from Hertfordshire Constabulary said: “Just because you are sending a message on a keyboard or mobile phone in a safe environment doesn’t mean you can’t be held accountable for your actions. Whatever messages you send on line, stays on line and can be shared without your permission. This can have serious consequences.

“The message of this campaign is clear. Before you press that ‘send’ button, be clear about how your message might read to the person on the receiving end.

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