NI: PSNI issue Internet warning after teen photo death

Mid-Ulster District police commander Superintendent Mike Baird
Mid-Ulster District police commander Superintendent Mike Baird

The Police Service of Northern Ireland has warned young people to report disturbing interactions they have online, in the aftermath of a 17-year old schoolboy’s death.

Ronan Hughes from Coalisland is believed to have taken his life after being “tricked into posting images on a social media site”, according to Mid-Ulster District police commander Superintendent Mike Baird.

The circumstances surrounding the death are still being investigated.

Baird said: “Police are continuing to liaise with a number of statutory bodies and community representatives. Officers have spoken to pupils at a school in the area and offered advice regarding safe internet use and any type of virtual interaction including social media sites, chatrooms and through interactive games.

“If anyone has experienced anything of a similar nature or has received any inappropriate images or links, it is important that they contact Police or tell a trusted adult. By doing this you will be helping prevent further such incidents. You will not get into trouble.”

The police service has issued the following advice to young people in Northern Ireland:

  • Don’t share personal information or images with people you don’t know;
  • Don’t accept friend requests with someone you don’t know;
  • Set your privacy settings on all devices;
  • Don’t post anything online that you are not happy to be shared;
  • If someone has made you feel uncomfortable or you have had disturbing interaction online, tell someone you trust
  • Baird added: “We all deserve to be able to use the internet to learn, explore and connect with each other.

    “But all of us need to be aware of the risks involved in doing so, especially on social media.”

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