Four local junior secondary schoolboys aged between 14 and 15 who cyberbullied a 14-year-old schoolgirl over her photo circulating on social media were taken to a police station for questioning last week.
Four local junior secondary schoolboys aged between 14 and 15 who cyberbullied a 14-year-old schoolgirl over her photo circulating on social media were taken to a police station for questioning last week, Judiciary Police (PJ) spokeswoman Lei Hon Nei said at a regular press conference on Monday.
According to Lei, one of the schoolboys attends the same secondary school as the victim in the city centre, while the other three are from two schools in the northern district.
According to Lei, the schoolgirl discovered on 14 October that a photo of her, which was secretly taken without her consent, was shared in the victim’s classmates’ group on social media, causing gossip, forwarding and ridicule. As the issue was getting out of hand, the victim decided to report the incident to her teacher, and later her school notified the PJ Youth Concern Group for follow-up action. The four schoolboys admitted to sharing her photo and claimed that they did it just for fun but denied that they took the photo.
Lei pointed out that the four pupils were suspected of committing the crime of “invasion of privacy”. The victim isn’t in need of psychological counselling over the case, Lei said, adding that her parents have requested that the four boys be brought to justice.
However, Lei pointed out that due to their age the four boys cannot be held criminally responsible for their deeds. Macao’s age of criminal responsibility stands at 16, which means that teenagers younger than 16 cannot be charged with a crime.
Lei said that the Judiciary Police have transferred the four schoolboys and their case files to the Public Prosecutions Office (MP) for follow-up investigation. She also said that the Judiciary Police will continue to investigate the source of the photo.
Lei underlined that the police attach great importance to the incident, and the PJ Youth Concern Group has notified local schools through the “School Safety Network”, hoping to strengthen cooperation between parents, schools and the police to prevent bullying among young people.
The statement urged schoolchildren who witness bullying or are victims of bullying to inform their teachers, school counsellor and parents and to notify the police if necessary.
Since January this year, three cyberbullying cases have been reported, including the case announced on Monday, Lei said in a follow-up message to the media.
(The Macau Post Daily/Macao News)
Photo by Macau Photo Agency