Trolling Could Be Biggest Police Challenge
NOT TERRORISIM NOT CHILD ABUSE RAPE OR MURDER
ITS CLEAR WHY BROTHER GAMBLE RETWEETED THIS SHITE
But they have a dark side.
This week the police were called in when so-called “trolls” targeted Richard Madeley’s daughter after she defended her mother, Judy Finnigan, who made controversial comments about footballer Ched Evans.
But Chloe Madeley is not alone – every week thousands of people get abused or threatened online.
Now those who target people with abusive material online will face up to two years in jail under Government plans set out by the Justice Secretary.
But do the sheer numbers mean that policing and prosecuting online abusers will be at best difficult?
Lord Blair, former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, told Sky News that dealing with trolling accusations is now probably the biggest challenge for police.
“You want patrolling bobbies, you don’t want bobbies sitting behind screens.
“But I think it is a huge challenge – so much of people’s lives is now lived connected to that world that the police are going to find themselves having to investigate this material.”
Chief Constable Alex Marshall also says it’s becoming a problem, with half of police time being spent trying to deal with it.
The Director of Public Prosecutions will now have to define who should face punishment, face prison, but it seems likely to be only the most extreme cases – where genuine threats are made.
This is an attempt by the Government to update laws in line with changing social norms about how people communicate, but the punishment imposed is very familiar, prison.
And it’s prison too for “revenge porn” – announced last week, a new offence which will also be punishable by up to two years in prison.
This at a time when prison numbers are increasing, with capacity at 97.5%.
Questions will be raised, whether a raft of new laws, with prison as punishment, is a sensible way to deal with people who aren’t a serious threat at a cost running into tens of thousands.
But maybe this is about sending out a message, a deterrent, that online abuse, online threats are not acceptable, are illegal and something you could find yourself locked up for.