Top PSNI officer makes YouTube video warning NI school pupils after TikToks abusing teachers

With more than 80 reports of fake TikTok accounts made to police, including some for local schools in Upper Bann, the PSNI has issued a stark warning.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 1:51 pm

In recent weeks a number of TikTok videos have emerged on the social media giant ridiculing teachers at schools in the Portadown, Lurgan and Craigavon areas.

According to a teachers’ union several staff have taken off work suffering from stress after some videos emerged.

Portadown schools such as Clounagh Junior High School and Killicomaine Junior High School issued statements warning against the TikTok videos and that they would be contacting the PSNI.

Police said they received reports from across NI. These accounts have then posted images of school staff with inappropriate comments.

This week the PSNI issued a letter to all schools in NI, highlighting the seriousness of these incidents. They also issued a YouTube video with a message they asked schools to play to pupils.

Superintendent Arnie O’Neill said: “Since 2nd October, police have received over 80 incidents of this nature across NI.

“Our officers are working closely with local schools, Department of Education and the Education Authority to investigate these incidents, and would appeal to anyone who is aware of these videos or who has been impacted by them to come forward.

“Any victim of this type of crime will be dealt with in the utmost confidence and in a sensitive manner by our officers.

“We would remind those involved in this type of activity of the harm it causes. The individuals targeted are left deeply distressed. No one should be made to feel like this at work, or in any aspect of their life.

“Some of the content is both abusive, and could potentially constitute a crime under the Misuse of Telecommunications Act or Harassment.

“We would ask both parents and guardians to remind their young people of the consequences of committing an offence, as it could result in a criminal record that could greatly impact their future plans.

“What goes online, stays online.”

Police continue to appeal to anyone with any information regarding these incidents to contact police on 101. A report can also be made using the online reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport

Always call 999 in an emergency.

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