Police concerned about rise in cyber bullying
A SENIOR Toowoomba police officer said cyber bullying via social media was one of the biggest issues facing modern society.
Toowoomba police district inspector Terry Kajewski said the explosion of online bullying over the past five years had police across the state extremely concerned.
"Anyone who is using any form of social media should think very carefully about what they are sending before they send it," Inspector Kajewski said.
"If the post or message has some heat in it, the best thing to do is to walk away before sending it.
"Once it is sent or posted, that is it," he said.
Inspector Kajewski said the number of cyber bullying incidents requiring police investigation had definitely risen.
"Unfortunately bullying has always been a part of society," he said.
"The difference these days is it is immediate and reaches a wider audience.
"From a police perspective there will be times where we are required to investigate."
Inspector Kajewski said any form of bullying could have lasting effects and could often end in tragedy.
"There is no doubt that police are investigating more and more incidents each day," he said.
"A recent incident in Toowoomba is certainly indicative of a tragic outcome where different parties appeared to have resorted to the use of social media.
"I also remember a boy many years ago who actually hung himself from the flagpole at his school due to persistent bullying.
"I will never forget that for as long as I live."
Inspector Kajewski said as a result of the explosion of cyber bullying policing methods had changed.
"Once upon a time we would never have considered conducting an investigation via social media," he said.
"Now we do. It can, and does, become evidence.
"Unfortunately as police officers we only get to see the bad cases."
Inspector Kajewski urged people to more mindful of what they posted online before it was too late.
"There is no easy fix to the problem," he said.
"People need to think very carefully about their online actions and the consequences that can arise from those actions."