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First online bullying summit gets thumbs up

THE first-ever national summit on cyber-bullying was held at Holyrood yesterday as spokespersons of groups representing youngsters met with police, prosecutors and Government Ministers.

"The voice of young people was crucial and this event could not have taken place without them," said Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People, who said the event had been "empowering" for all those involved.

The summit covered all aspects of cyber-crime afflicting youngsters from grooming by older predators to peer pressure from other youngsters such as "sexting" messages and disseminating photos and videos.

The summit was prompted by a case in Fife where a youngster groomed on-line and threatened with blackmail over the release of photographs committed suicide.

Ms Campbell said the key was for children to understand the dangers without feeling parents were spying on them and to understand that bullying could take place online or in real time.

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