In a recent written Parliamentary question Telford MP, Lucy Allan asked the Home Office: “what steps [the] Department is taking to tackle cyber harassment[?]”
Karen Bradley, Minister for Preventing Abuse, Exploitation and Crime at the Home Office has now replied saying: “Legislation is in place to deal with internet trolls, cyber-stalking and cyber harassment, and perpetrators of grossly offensive, obscene or menacing behaviour. Through the Criminal Justice Act 2015, we have strengthened two communications offences which can be used to prosecute misuse of social media: section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988, and section 127 of the Communications Act 2003, giving the police longer to investigate either offence, and increasing the maximum penalty for the former to two years imprisonment.
“Through the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, we have brought together industry, law enforcement, academia, charities and parenting groups to work in partnership to help keep children and young people safe online.”
Commenting on the response, Lucy said: “As anyone who has received online harassment knows, cyber harassment and bullying is most unpleasant. I am pleased that the Government are stepping up the penalties for those that perpetrate this crime. People should be able to have an online presence and enjoy the benefits of social media without facing abuse, attacks and harassment.”