Northampton Borough Council
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Bin collections are affected by the icy weather

There may be some delays in collecting your bins and boxes this week but all buses are now operating as normal. Also, due to resources we will be collecting food waste on your next collection date.

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There is no legal definition of bullying but it is generally defined as repeated behaviour intended to hurt someone either emotionally or physically. Bullying can take many forms, including:
  • Physical assault
  • Teasing
  • Calling names
  • Making threats
  • Cyber bullying

Bullying can cause stress, anxiety, sleeplessness, fatigue, fear, anger, pain, poor concentration and memory, panic attacks, shame, guilt, isolation and shattered confidence. Bullying can happen anywhere: at university, at school, in a sports team or at work.

70% of all young people have experienced some form of bullying.

Cyber bullying

Cyber bullying is when people use the internet, mobile phones or other digital technologies to threaten, tease or abuse someone. It is against the law to bully someone in this way and you must tell someone if it is happening to you.

  • 1 million young people are bullied every week.
  • Bullying is one of the biggest concerns for young people as they grow up.
  • Out of 2,500 young people questioned by Beatbullying, 50% said they'd been cyber bullied.
  • 29% did not tell anyone about the cyber bullying.
  • 73% said they knew who was sending them bullying messages.
  • 11% admitted to being a cyber bully.

A lot of young people cyber bully deliberately - they set out to target another user online. Some cyber bullying is done for a laugh, but it doesn't mean it hurts any less and often people do not think about the consequences of their actions.

There are lots of ways cyber bullies can target someone, such as:

  • Posting abusive messages online - on a social networking site, in a chat room, or using instant messenger.
  • Posting humiliating videos or pictures online, or sending them on to other people.
  • Taking on someone else's identity online in order to upset them.
  • Bad mouthing and spreading rumours.
  • Setting up a hate site or a hate group on a social networking site.
  • Prank calling, prank texts and messages.
  • Sending nasty or abusive messages.

It can sometimes feel really difficult to escape cyber bullying as bullies can use technology to target you at home or on your mobile. Although cyber bullying can't physically hurt you, it can still make you feel bad and is a form of emotional abuse.

What you can do about it

How to report abuse
Website / method What to do
Mobile phones / texts
Contact the service provider and report the problem. Most mobile phone companies will change a mobile number once for free if this is necessary.
Social media in general
Most social networking sites have a report feature for users. If cyber bullying is reported, the content will usually be investigated and removed if found to be illegal or breaking their terms and conditions. Accounts of those who break the rules can be deleted.
Facebook There is a 'report' link on each user's profile page and you can find specific details about how to report people directly in Facebook's help section.
Twitter There is an option on each tweet to report it to Twitter, and you can also report Twitter users by going to their profile and selecting the option to report them. You can find all the information about this in Twitter's help section.
YouTube or other video sites
To have content removed from a video-hosting site, it must be illegal or break the site's terms of service. To report inappropriate content to YouTube you must create an account (for free) and log in. You then have an option to 'flag content as inappropriate'.
MySpace There is a 'contact MySpace' link at bottom of each page, and from there you can select 'report abuse'.  To report inappropriate images, click on the image and select 'report this image' option. You can find all the information about this in MySpace's help section.

Help and support

For the victim, cyber bullying can be really scary and make them feel lonely, stressed and as though there is no way out.  It is important to remember that there are always people who can help.

Make it stop

Don't suffer in silence. Tell a trusted adult, speak to a lecturer or report the incident to the website/service provider.

  • Block email addresses and/or complain to host website.
  • Keep your passwords to yourself and only give email addresses and mobile numbers to trusted friends.
  • Change your online nicknames or user ID.
  • Don't retaliate or reply - you could end up in trouble too!
  • Keep a copy of the abusive emails, texts or messages that you receive and when they were sent to you.
  • Think before you send. Whatever you send or post up on a website can be made public very quickly and could be there forever.

Report it, flag it and talk to someone about it.