Bullying is clearly not a new phenomenon but the context has now shifted to a new and different form, Cyber Bullying, which is related to the growth of new media platforms.  It is so sad to write at a time when we hear of the suicide of a 11 year old in Bradford and this reminds us of the very damaging consequences of bullying.

Reports indicate that the extent of what has become known as cyber bullying is a growing international problem. Whilst organisations and individuals are increasingly getting involved in the field it would be fair to say that the research base is weak and the level of support available to those seriously impacted by this is not sufficiently robust.

Cyber Bullying

Humans can be immeasurably cruel and especially so in childhood. According to bullying.co.uk 56% of young people said they have seen others be bullied online and 42% have felt unsafe online. Cyber bullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it can go viral very fast.

Against this background a conference has been set in Nottingham on the 3rd November to try and make sense of the many issues that exist with cyber bullying and given the technology and psychology behind this kind of behaviour it is perhaps appropriate to relate the context to bullying in a new playground.

Robin Morris Jones, director of the Cognitive Centre who are hosting the conference is a recognised expert in cognitive behavioural interventions. He said “Our aim is to ensure parents, teachers and those responsible for the care of children and young people are aware of the risks involved with unlimited access to social media. We risk endangering our young people when we do not address this increasingly urgent issue. Understanding and identifying the boundaries between online bullying, abuse and criminal behaviour is vital.”

The conference features speakers from a wide range of academic, regulatory and charitable bodies including Childnet International, University of Central Lancashire, The Diana Award and Derbyshire Digital PCSO.

Timed for the run up to National Anti Bullying Week 14 – 18 November the event marks a major milestone for The Cognitive Centre, whose previous conferences, focusing primarily on domestic abuse and ‘Working with ‘difficult’ individuals” have all been based in London and Manchester. Wendy Cooper from the Cognitive Centre said “We have chosen Nottingham for this conference as we are currently working with Derbyshire Constabulary’s Digital PCSO and its Cyber Crime hub. Nottinham offers a wealth of hotels, conference venues and is centrally located with easy access for both UK based and European delegates”.

The conference set for 3rd November opens with a leading expert Dr Jo Bryce to set the scene in relation to the research base. Will Gardner, CEO Childnet International and Alex Holmes, Head of Anti-Bullying Programme, The Diana Award will outline the current initiatives. Derbyshire police will demonstrate an initiative whereby the use of technology is used to engage with young people and parents. A representative from a UK charity ‘Bullies Out’ will discuss initiatives that have been used in direct work with young people.

The Cognitive Centre are specialists in providing consultancy, training and support to organisations that want to work effectively with people. Their clients include agencies working with vulnerable children, also mental health, counselling, and human resource professionals in clinical, managed care, forensic, education, and corporate organisations.

Visit https://www.cognitivecentre.com/cyber-bullying-conference/ for more information on the conference.

Derbyshire Constabulary Digital PCSO – Derbyshire’s unique Cyber Crime hub:
http://www.derbyshire.police.uk/Safety-advice/Cybercrime/Cybercrime.aspx

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