Online bullying in Kent has increased, according to a survey

a young woman using a computer

Kent's police and crime commissioner conducted a survey that found an increase in online bullying of kids throughout the county.

In the survey, nearly a third of respondents admitted to having experienced cyberbullying, an increase of almost a fifth since the study's inception five years prior.

Additionally, nearly 500 young people—or about 11% of those surveyed—confessed to being online bullies themselves.

Matthew Scott, the commissioner of Kent's police and criminal investigations, said he was "not surprised" by the results and thought the problem was "getting worse.".

In order to determine the extent of online bullying and harassment experienced by children in Kent, Mr. Scott launched a survey in April that drew more than 4,000 people under the age of 18.

Speaking with BBC Radio Kent, Mr. Scott stated that one of his main worries was the underreporting of cyberbullying.

Nearly a quarter of people who experienced it said they didn't tell anyone, so he said, "I don't want young people to suffer in silence.".

Although Mr. Scott acknowledged that resources were available for those who had admitted to bullying others, he also stated that "people have to take responsibility for their own behavior.".

He added that cyberbullying was a "constantly evolving issue" and that social media firms should be under pressure to do more to stop it.

Social media is a part of young people's lives today, but Frazer Westmorland, the headteacher of Mundella Primary School in Folkestone, said "educating ourselves is a step in the right direction" for supporting kids.

According to him, schools and parents "don't always know enough" about the various online platforms that kids use.

He continued by saying that some issues were caused by how quickly kids can communicate with one another "without having to really consider the implications and consequences of the communication."

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