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ChildLine volunteers in Prestatyn have been dealing with an influx of calls from children being bullied online.
New figures released on Tuesday’s Safer Internet Day reveal that 1,923 boys and girls suffering from ‘cyber abuse’ phoned the North Wales call centre last year – just over a quarter of the calls (549) were from children under the age of 12.
Most children who suffered abuse on social media were between 12 and 15 while 35 callers claimed they had been groomed online. Cyber abuse was one of the main issues dealt by volunteers, alongside family problems and low mood/self esteem.
NSPCC Cymru say the Warren Road office has also dealt with 1,143 callers, dealing with suicidal thoughts. At the South Wales centre in Cardiff, staff received less than a fifth of calls on both online bullying and suicide than in the North, where calls are taken from across the UK.
The findings came as the charity called on websites to take ”swift and decisive” action on online hate message and report publicly on the number of complaints and how they are dealt with.
NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said: ”The internet industry has a duty to keep young people safe when they use their services and cannot afford to brush this problem under the carpet.”