Northern Ireland’s Justice Ministry lack of strategy over the internet bullying of children and young people has been branded a disgrace.
And Councillor Connaire McGreevy says it is vital a continuing campaign of information and education is on the issue backed by Government finance.
“Unless we do take responsibility as a united society to tackle cyber terrorism countless lives will be destroyed.”
Councillor McGreevy described the growing threat of on-line abuse as an epidemic of cruelty.
“The ever widening range of internet and social media links makes it certain that during their educational life increasing numbers of youngsters will be added to the bullying agenda.”
And a conference in Newry organised by Connaire McGreevy has heard that the latest research from the NSPCC found that 38 per cent of children had been affected by cyber bullies.
“The challenge for parents is in the critical role they have to play in helping combat the threat posed by the immoral use of modern technology.
“The Stormont Justice Minister David Ford also has to learn from and respond positively to the experience of other jurisdictions in confronting cyber crime.
“In Canada legislation is being introduced to make cyber bullying illegal. The Canadian Justice Minister will be able to authorise the seizure of computers and mobile telephones as well as forcing the removal of images and text from the internet.
“Our neighbours in the Republic have enhanced legislation to tackle cyber bullying. A year ago England and Wales also tightened up a number of loopholes surrounding internet abuse.
“But in Northern Ireland there appears to be no legislative appetite to confront the cyberspace hate messengers.
“We need the full force of the law to be used in the battle against the bullies.”
“But we also need to bridge the ever growing gap in terms of technology communication between young people and adults.
“Society needs to grasp both the benefits and risks of online and mobile usage in order to isolate the bullies,” Councillor McGreevy added.