By all appearances it was a busy week for the Hoaxtead pushers, what with Belinda and Sabine junketing off to Brussels to pretend they were contributing to a legitimate debate in an EU Parliamentary Committee, Angie disappearing from Facebook to attend to unspecified business, and now Jake adopting a curiously discreet attitude about his own online posting.
And we were surprised to find this gem on Angie’s Facebook profile when she finally emerged from her ‘appointments’. Odder still that she would tag it to Jake, who we understand has met with police and might be expected to have a somewhat more informed perspective on the matter of online abuse.
(Aside: What’s Angie doing reading ‘PoliceProfessional.com’? Perhaps she has met with some officers of the law recently and wants to brush up on her knowledge in order converse with them more intelligently?)
Here’s the text of that article:
Authorities must treat digital crimes the same way as those taking place in the “physical” world, according to a Labour MP who was subject to vicious abuse on social media.
In September 2014, a man who had made repeated threats to rape former Shadow Minister Stella Creasey via social media was jailed for 18 weeks, one of the most severe sentences so far received by a perpetrator of online abuse.
Speaking to the Guardian, Ms Creasey said she believes police and prosecutors do not understand that abuse on social media is a harassment, rather than a malicious content, issue.
“We do have legislation and it was very frustrating for me as a victim who had worked on harassment legislation … I am particularly frustrated with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), because I still don’t think they get it,” she said.
“If someone sends you flowers, if it’s someone you’ve asked never to contact you again, that’s really creepy. But online, unless they’ve said they want to rape or murder you, the police and CPS don’t get it.”
The Walthamstow MP believes that telling victims of harassment to remove their online presence as a way of preventing the crime, is comparable to asking women to dress differently or stop going out at night.
“Just as 40 years ago people wanted to define when women could walk the streets, what they could wear and where they could go, it’s exactly the same online. It’s not about the streets, or the technology, it’s about society,” Ms Creasey added.
“We have law that could be used but we have to change the frame of reference about it. It is still very much a case of when this stuff happens to you, you get told: ‘Don’t feed the trolls.’ Why is it up to me to find a way of dealing with it rather than them to stop doing it.”
National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Stalking and Harassment Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said:“The scale of cyber-crime in the UK continues to grow and we must evolve to meet the treats posed by digital crime. Work has begun on developing online assets to assist victims in capturing evidence and specific risk assessment tools for officers.
“Harassment and online abuse are serious problems and there is more to do, not just for police but the criminal justice system and society as a whole.”
In March, the CPS announced it would be updating its guidelines on social media to incorporate new and emerging crimes being committed online and to provide clear advice to help the prosecution of cyber-enabled crime.
The revised guidelines cover cases where offenders set up fake profiles in the names of others, as well as advising prosecutors on the use of social media in new offences, such as revenge pornography and controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship.
The changes are currently under consultation.
How odd that Angie, who has done more than most to perpetuate the harassment of innocent Hampstead citizens via the internet, would choose this article to send to Jake. Is she perhaps trying to tell him that she’s made some poor life choices, and advise him not to go down the same path?
More likely, she’s just trying to point out that to date, the police response to online harassment has been woefully inadequate, in part because of a lack of effective legislation and case law. This is probably just Angie’s way of letting her young protegé know that he can do as he likes, and the cops won’t touch him.
Poor advice, Angie. Because in fact, as the article mentions, the CPS has updated its guidelines, and those who started this hideous charade are about to discover that the wind has changed.