Denton and Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne has discovered that the North West region has one of the highest conviction rates for internet and electronic media harassment, according to a recent answer to a parliamentary question.
Conviction rates for the North West were 67 in 2007, and are now 194 for 2011. The only region with higher convictions was the South East.
Overall for the whole UK there have been three times more people convicted of harassing people over the internet under the Communications Act 2003. The parliamentary Answer showed convictions rose from 498 in 2007 to 1286 in 2011.
Under the wording of the Act the offences relate to:
Sending or causing sending of grossly offensive / indecent/ obscene/ menacing or false message/ matter by electronic communications network.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“Given the massive growth in the internet and other media like Twitter and Facebook, it is hardly surprising that there has been such an increase in harassment convictions over the electronic media. It is important that there are guidelines governing the internet to ensure it isn’t used to harass people.”
Here is a link to the Parliamentary Question.