22 per cent of Wigan girls are victim of cyber bullying

Cyber bullying is rife in Wigan
Cyber bullying is rife in Wigan

ALMOST a quarter of Wigan girls say they have fallen prey to cyber bullies, new figures reveal.

The figures revealed that massive 22.8 per cent of girls surveyed in the borough admitted to have been persecuted online and on social media.

This compares with 9.1 of boys - although experts say that figure itself is bad enough.

More than half, 55.9 per cent, of the 15-year-olds asked also admitted to having being bullied (either physically or verbally to their face), with girls more likely to suffered it - 66.5 per cent - than boys - 46.7 per cent.

Girls were less likely to admit to having ever bullied someone else as well with 13.5 per cent saying they had compared to 21.1 per cent of boys.

James Winterbottom, director for children’s services at Wigan Council, said: “Supporting schools to eradicate bullying is a priority for the council and that of Wigan’s Safeguarding Children’s Board.

“We are disappointed by the figures that show how many of our young people have experienced bullying.

“We are continuing to review our strategies and looking at more creative ways to support pupils to stay and feel safe in their educational settings.

“Schools, the council, youth groups and other partner agencies from across Wigan borough work together to deliver a clear message that bullying is not OK and that there is support out there for young people who feel they are being targeted if they tell someone.

“There is also practical support for young people on our Linc2 website www.wigan.gov.uk/linc2 where they can find out more about charities and agencies offering support and advice from other young people about how to tackle the problem.”

The figures were released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre as part of a national survey of 15-year-olds in 2014.

The survey saw more than 120,000 teens respond to questions about smoking, general health, wellbeing, physical activity and free time, diet, drinking, and drugs.

Nationally, 60 per cent of boys and 57 per cent who said they had been cyber bullied said someone sent mean instant messages, wall postings, emails and text messages, or created a website that made fun of them.

Some 64 per cent of boys and 65 per cent of girls said someone had taken an unflattering or inappropriate pictures of them without permission and posted them online.