Minister denies cyber bullying 'costs lives'

A young teenager types on a computer keyboard Police in Jersey have investigated nine criminal allegations of 'cyber-bullying' since January

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Cyber bullying in Jersey has not led to deaths, according to Home Affairs Minister Ian Le Marquand.

During States questions on Tuesday, Deputy Michael Higgins said online harassment had led some victims to take their own lives.

Senator Le Marquand said police had investigated nine cyber bullying complaints since January.

On Thursday, he issued a further statement refuting Deputy Higgins' claims over loss of life.

"These claims are misleading and the minister is advised that to date there have been no inquests held in Jersey where cyber-bullying has been found to be a contributory factor to the cause of death and the States of Jersey Police are not aware of any such cases," the statement read.

"When reported to the police all cases of cyber bullying are investigated thoroughly, and where there is evidence that bullying is occurring steps will be taken to help the victim and prevent it occurring again."

Deputy Higgins told BBC News he knew of specific cases where cyber bullying contributed to deaths and said the minister's statement was "unbelievable".

"Cyber bullying does take place and people have taken their lives.

"Obviously the coroner can't be sure or say conclusively why.

"Cyber bullying is a major problem in the island."

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