Stay Safe

Children and young people strategy

Norfolk Constabulary is committed to enhancing the quality of life for everyone in Norfolk.

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To drive a car as a learner you must:

  • Be at least 17 years old
  • Have applied for and received your Provisional Licence
  • Have someone in the car to supervise you. The person supervising you must be at least 21 years old and have held a full driving licence for the type of vehicle you are driving (i.e. car) for a least 3 years
  • Have a vehicle which is taxed / insured / roadworthy
  • Display L plates at all times while you are driving the vehicle.

Learner drivers are not permitted to drive on motorways.

You can apply for a provisional licence three months before your 17th birthday, but it does not come into effect until you are 17.

You can learn to drive a car at 16 if you are receiving Disability Living Allowance at the higher rate. If this is the case you can apply for your provisional licence three months before your 16th birthday, but it does not come into effect until you are 16.

If you already have a provisional licence for a moped or agricultural vehicle you do not need to apply again for a provisional licence to drive a car when you reach 17.

Helpful links 

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On your bike
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Whether your two wheels are powered by pedal or motor, look in this section for safety tips and advice on bicycles, mopeds and motorcycles or mini motos.   

Pedal Power

Pedal power is a fantastically cheap and healthy way to get around and we are keen to encourage it.

We want cyclists to ride safely in our county keeping both themselves and pedestrians safe. We also want to help you to avoid becoming a victim of cycle theft.

Our top tips for cycle safety are:

  • Don’t cycle on footpaths or in pedestrian areas or you could face a £30 fine 
  • Use cycle paths where available 
  • Make sure your bike is in good working order and safe to ride
  • Always use bike lights when travelling in the dark or in conditions of reduced visibility.
  • You could register your bike using a third party service to further protect it such as Bike Register.

Did you know?

The use of lighting and reflectors on bikes is regulated under the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 and was recently amended to permit flashing lights on pedal cycles.

Keeping your bike secure

  • Invest in a good quality lock for your bicycle – D locks are the most effective and a worthwhile investment 
  • Use a lock to secure the bike-stand, wheel rim and frame together – making it more difficult for a thief to take 
  • Never leave your bike unlocked in a public place - if you leave it unattended even for a minute it could be taken  
  • Find a suitable location to leave and secure your bike – dark alleys, drain-pipes and posts are all best avoided 
  • Get your bike security marked by your local Safer Neighbourhood Team or crime prevention officer. That way it will be easy to identify your bike if it is found 
  • Keep your bike indoors overnight or locked securely in a garage.

Mopeds & Motorcycles

To ride a moped as a learner you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Have applied for and received your Provisional Licence
  • Have completed a Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) course
  • Have a vehicle which is taxed / insured / roadworthy.

Before completing the CBT you may only ride on a road under the supervision of an approved instructor as part of the CBT course.

You can apply for a provisional licence 3 months before your 16th birthday, but it does not come into effect until you are 16.

Riding a motorcycle

If you have a provisional motorcycle licence you must complete a CBT. This means that you can then ride on the road with L plates for up to 2 years, or D plates in Wales.

To obtain a full motorcycle licence you must pass a motorcycle theory test and a practical test.

If you have a full car licence and you passed your test after 01 Feb 2001 then you must;

  • take a CBT test and obtain a DL 196 certificate in order to ride a moped
  • You must be 17 years old
  • You may ride motorcycles up to 125cc and 11kw output displaying L plates (D plates in Wales) but you must have passed a CBT course.

Completing a CBT

If you successfully complete a CBT course you will get a training certificate (DL196). You can find Motorcycle Training centres by looking in a directory like Yell or Thomson local, or asking at your local motorcycle shop.

The certificate is valid for two years and allows you to take your moped on the road.

When you go on to take your practical test you will need to show the examiner your training certificate.

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Family issues
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Everyone should feel safe and cared for at home, but if someone in your family is violent or abusive, being at home can be scary.

The adults may be hurting each other, or one of them may be hurting you. It's usually women who are at the receiving end of domestic abuse, but it can be the other way around. It is rarely a one-off event.

Domestic abuse can happen in all kinds of families. The abuse may involve shouting, arguing, hitting or even fighting. Sometimes it's things like making someone feel worthless, not letting him or her have any money or not allowing them to leave the house.

Seeing or hearing someone you love being abused is really frightening and can make you feel angry, helpless, guilty or ashamed. It can affect your studies and you might have trouble sleeping.

How to get help

Young people living with domestic abuse can feel very lonely. If you can, try talking to someone you trust - like a teacher, a social worker or a relative - about what's happening.

They might be able to help get it stopped.


Domestic abuse is not your fault. It's only the fault of the person who is being abusive.

It's not your job to stop it. Sometimes young people try to step in and stop the violence, but they risk getting hurt themselves.

If you feel your mum or dad is in danger call the police by ringing 999 and give the following information: 

  • Your name, age and contact details
  • Explain the details of what is happening
  • Who is there?
  • What has or is being said or done
  • If you or anyone else is hurt or anything got damaged
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Child abuse is not acceptable
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Child abuse is not just sexual, it can also apply when a parent, or another adult, is violent towards you. It may only happen when that adult is angry or drunk, but that's no excuse. It's wrong to hurt someone, no matter what.

If the adults who live with you don't give you proper food or clothing, or don't look after you when you're ill, this is called neglect and it's against the law.

It doesn't mean you're being neglected if you don't get the most expensive pair of new trainers or designer clothes every time you ask for them.

Getting help

Have you seen the short film 'Look what you did'? It's about the help three victims of rape and sexual assault receive.

If you're being abused, it's important to know two things:

  • It's not your fault
  • It can be stopped.

The first step to getting the abuse stopped is to tell an adult that you trust. Telling someone that you're being abused can feel really scary, but it means you won't have to deal with it on your own any more.

Remember - it's OK to tell someone, even if you've been told to keep it a secret. You won't get into trouble. It's the other person who's in the wrong.

If you decide to tell a teacher or a police officer, then it's their job to take you seriously. If you tell someone else and they don't believe you, or they can't help you, don't give up. Try again or choose someone else.


If you are being abused or know a member of your family is being abused, it can leave you feeling pretty mixed up. You might feel scared, stressed, angry or even guilty.

The most important thing to remember is that it's not your fault.

Sometimes, it helps to talk about how you're feeling. If you think it would be easier to talk to someone you don't know, there are websites you can visit and talk safely or you can call charities like Childline that specialise in providing you with the necessary help and support.

If you're in danger and you need help straight away, find a safe place and call 999. If you're not in danger right now, but you want to talk to the police, you can speak to an officer at your local police station.

Helpful links 

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Healthy Relationships
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The heart starts to beat faster as you wait to hear or maybe wait to say the words ‘I love you’. Maybe it’s just a crush, maybe it's love, maybe they’re the "one".

These thoughts are one of many that go through the mind of every teenager and it’s not long before they are directed to sex.

It is perfectly natural to be confused or nervous at this stage as it is a big step to take in a relationship.

However, you need to be aware that there are medical and legal issues involved - it's important to be safe and not to break the law.

In the UK, you can legally have sex after the age of 16. This applies to heterosexual sex (between a male and female), or homosexual sex (between two members of the same sex).

Although you can legally have sex at these ages, you should only have sex when you are ready and not feel pressured into doing it.

No-one has the right to make you do anything sexual you don't want to do, it is abuse when:

  • You’re being touched in a way you don’t like
  • You feel forced to have sex
  • You’re forced to look at sexual pictures or videos
  • You’re made to watch someone do something sexual, like flashing or exposing themselves
  • You’re made to do something sexual to someone that feels uncomfortable or wrong.

Have you seen the short film 'Look what you did'? It's about the help three victims of rape and sexual assault receive.

It's important to realise that you are not alone and there is support available for you.

Direct Gov has produced This is abuse website that provides lots of helpful advice as well as contact information for support. 

Helpful links 

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Property marking
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Protecting your valuables by making them less attractive to steal in the first place is the main aim of property marking.

If your property is marked it can be immediately established as stolen. This makes it difficult to sell on as it becomes “too hot to handle” because it presents a greater risk for potential purchasers if they are caught in possession of it.

If you have marked your property it also greatly increases the chance of getting it back, should the police recover it.

Although etching or punching your postcode and house number or name or company name on property can be very effective, it is often not a practical option, so we would recommend the following ways of effective property marking:

Electronic marking

You can create a free private and secure portfolio of all your personal property at the Immobilise website. It only takes a few minutes online to register your property details and it enables police forces across the county to identify the owner of lost and stolen goods.

UV pen marking

Use a UV pen, which is invisible to the naked eye, to mark your postcode followed by the house number or name on your chosen property.

You can deter potential thieves by using stickers, usually supplied with the pen, indicating that your property is marked.

The UV mark is only visible with special UV lights and the police can use these when property is recovered. Remember that UV markings need to be re-applied from time to time as they fade with wear and tear.


Taking detailed photographs of your property can help you prove it is yours and can also help us to prosecute the criminal who stole it from you.

Permanent Marker Pen/Paint

This can be used on school/college equipment or clothing labels.

Postcode Stencil

Some products use a stencil of your post code which when applied with a paste, etches the details onto your valuables.

This is great for IT equipment, bikes and other large items and can also be used on satellite navigation systems and mobile phones and other portable electronic equipment.

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Out & About
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Norfolk is a pretty safe place to live, and you shouldn't worry too much about being robbed or attacked when you are out and about.

The problem with criminals who rob or attack people is that there is no way of knowing exactly where or when they might pick on their next victim.

There are some things you can do to make it less likely that you will become a victim of crime:

  • Always pay attention to what's going on around you. Make it look like you know where you're going, and that you are confident in your surroundings
  • Try not to make any valuables like jewellery or mobile phones too obvious - it might make a criminal think that you are worth robbing
  • Stick to bright, well-lit, busy places - you're safer there. Never walk along dark alleys or footpaths alone at night
  • Always tell someone where you're going, what route you're taking and how long you think you'll be in case anything goes wrong. If you change your plans or you are going to be later back than you thought don't forget to let someone know
  • If you use a wheelchair, keep your things beside you where you can see them, rather than behind you
  • Don't keep all your belongings in one place. For example, keep your phone in your bag, your house keys in your pocket and your money in your jacket. If one of these items get stolen you won't have lost all of your valuables
  • If someone does try to take something from you, it is better to let them take it rather than to get into a fight and risk getting hurt. it's often better to just shout or scream loudly and run away rather than trying to defend yourself
  • If you decide to defend yourself, remember that your attacker might be stronger than you or that they might have a mate waiting around the corner
  • Shouting 'fire' often gets people's attention better than shouting 'help'

If someone has stolen something from you, attacked you or threatened to attack you, you should report it to the police.

Helpful Links 

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Drugs & alcohol
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You may well have given some thought to these questions, especially if you are at school or college and feeling under pressure to join in with your friends.

In this section, we’ve provided you with some advice on how alcohol can affect an evening and why drink spiking is not funny.

We've also got some information and advice on smoking and drugs.

Drugs and you

A drug is a chemical which changes your mood and the way that you feel.

There are two types of drugs; those that are legal, like a drug that was given to you by a doctor as medication and those that are illegal, such as heroin or ecstasy.

Even legal drugs or prescribed medication can prove dangerous if misused. For example, Mephedrone (Meow Meow), a legal drug used as a plant fertiliser, has been blamed for some teenage deaths after its purpose was misused with the user looking for a 'legal high'.

This website contains further information about illegal drugs in the 'You and the law' section.

Besides getting in trouble with the police, there are other risks in getting involved with drugs, these include:

  • Damage to your health - physically and mentally 
  • Paranoia or confusion as to your surroundings or those around you leading to accidents or falling out with family and friends
  • Missing out on school or college work
  • Life of crime to fund drug addiction 
  • Owing money to drug dealers who may become violent or dangerous if you can’t pay.

Some teenagers pay the ultimate price for drug misuse - their lives! It is not worth the risk.  

Norfolk Police supports the Government’s 10 year drugs strategy “Protecting Families and Communities” published in February 2008. This aims ‘to reduce the harm that drugs cause to society, to communities, individuals and their families’.

We also support the recently created “Matthew Project Under 18 Service” - a dedicated multi-agency team of drug and alcohol workers who work together to help young people under 18 in Norfolk.

Although the number of young people in Norfolk found in possession of drugs is low, there have been cases where children as young as 12 have been reprimanded for offences of supplying cannabis.

Getting help?

If you know someone who is taking drugs, talking to them would be a good place to start. Drugs can be a sensitive topic to bring up, so it is worth pointing out to them that you value your friendship and that you're always available if they want to talk about it.

Try to look at websites together or to point them in the direction of useful sites like talktofrank.com for advice and support.

You could help in a practical way as well, by helping to keep them away from situations or places which might be encouraging or enticing to them to take drugs.

Just remember you're not alone in these matters, and local groups like the Matthew Project are available.

Cigarettes and you

It is against the law for anyone under the age of 18 to buy tobacco products like cigarettes.

In 2007, a law was passed banning smoking in all public places to help combat passive smoking. The ban covers pubs and bars, offices, factories, but not outdoors or in private.

Smoking tobacco is one of the most dangerous habits in the world, killing more than five million people every year. Despite this, over a billion people still smoke. Do you know someone who smokes?

Some people smoke cannabis, an illegal class B drug. Smoking cannabis like tobacco, carries health risks such as an increased risk of lung and throat cancers.

People smoke for different reasons, some think it makes them look cool or helps them to relax. Is this true?

Why smoking is not good for you

  • It gives you bad breath
  • It turns your teeth and fingers yellow
  • It causes bad skin, making you look pale and ill
  • You are more likely to get colds or flu
  • It makes your clothes & hair smell
  • You can lose your sense of smell and taste
  • It reduces your breathing ability, thus affecting your performance in sports
  • It can cause fertility problems with women and affect sexual health in men and women
  • You will be more likely to get heart disease, lung disease or suffer a major heart attack or stroke

Others smoke because their friends do it, but remember it is an addiction and it can be very hard to stop. The best advice is not to start smoking in the first place.

Your Night, Your Choice 

Binge drinking means different things to different people. For some, binge drinking is the main objective of a good night out, for others it is a nuisance and is widely recognised as a major problem among young people in the UK.

Norfolk Constabulary has produced a DVD Binge Drinking: Your Night, Your Choice to raise awareness of the pressures and concerns young people face over alcohol.

What are the dangers of drinking too much alcohol?

The immediate ill effects may be no more than a hangover in the morning, but there is the potential for longer lasting effects like brain damage, cancer of the mouth or throat, heart disorders or impotence. A large price to pay for the small price of a drink!

Alcohol can ruin an evening, just as quickly as you feel it can make one. For 5,000 people each year, their evening will end with them being admitted to hospital. Maybe more shocking is more than 33,000 people in the UK die each year from alcohol related causes.

Others end with a visit from the police who are called to deal with incidents of anti-social behaviour, crime and violence – all a result of too much alcohol.

And sadly for some, unprotected sex and teenage pregnancy bring about unwanted heartache – further consequences of drinking too much alcohol.

Alcohol can play a part in the direction your night will take. Don’t feel under pressure to drink alcohol, especially to extremes. The advice is if you are going to drink, then drink sensibly and avoid becoming a statistic. Remember, it is Your Night, Your Choice.

Did you know? It is against the law to buy alcohol if you are under 18 and if the police see you drinking alcohol in a public place, they have the power to confiscate the drink from you!

Find out more about alcohol and how it affects you in the 'You and the law' section. 

Who spiked my drink?

Drink spiking is where someone adds a mind-altering substance such as alcohol, or extra alcohol or some form of drug into another person's drink without that person's knowledge.

What drugs are used?

Any drug could be used to spike a drink, but the most common ones you may have heard of are GHB, rohypnol or ketamine. These drugs relax a persons ability to defend themselves with disastrous consequences.

Some youngsters on a night out have 'woken' to find personal items stolen or sadly that they have been raped after having their drink spiked.  

Drug spiking is against the law. If it is proved that you intended to endanger the victims life or inflict bodily harm, there is a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.  

Some may spike a drink though, not for malicious reasons but because they think it's funny. Remember though that it is against the law and drink spiking can ruin an evening or at worst, the persons life! 

Who spiked my drink?

If you believe you have been a victim, you should report it to the police

Drink spiking is where someone adds a mind-altering substance such as alcohol, or extra alcohol or some form of drug into another person's drink without that person's knowledge.

What drugs are used?

Any drug could be used to spike a drink, but the most common ones you may have heard of are GHB, rohypnol or ketamine. These drugs relax a persons ability to defend themselves with disastrous consequences.

Some youngsters on a night out have 'woken' to find personal items stolen or sadly that they have been raped after having their drink spiked.  

Drug spiking is against the law. If it is proved that you intended to endanger the victims life or inflict bodily harm, there is a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.  

Some may spike a drink though, not for malicious reasons but because they think it's funny. Remember though that it is against the law and drink spiking can ruin an evening or at worst, the persons life! 

Don’t be a victim

More women than men are victims of drink spiking. Many people are too embarrassed to report the incident.

It can be difficult or impossible to tell if your drink has been spiked as some drugs used are tasteless, odourless and have no colour, but you can stay safe on a night out by following these tips:

  • Don’t leave your drink unattended
  • Know your own limit and stay in control
  • Try to stay with people you know and trust
  • Never accept a drink from someone you don't know

If you do believe you have been a victim of drink spiking, you should report it to the police.

Some clubs and pubs provide plastic lids to put on bottles which can help prevent your drink from being spiked or provide kits to test if your drink has been spiked. Why not ask the next time you buy a drink?

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Mobile Phones
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More and more young people find the mobile phone an essential item in their life.

Owning a mobile is a great way to keep in touch with your mates whether calling, texting or sending photo or video messages. You need to use it sensibly though and there are laws that govern the use of your phone.

For example, it is against the law to use your phone to bully someone, perhaps by sending nasty text messages or to make a prank call, and recently laws were introduced to ban the use of a mobile phone whilst driving.

Safety tips to keep hold of your phone

  • When using your phone, be aware of your surroundings and don't use it in crowded areas or where you feel unsafe
  • Keep your phone with you at all times. If you are worried about someone taking it from your school or college, or when you are out, leave it at home 
  • Only give your mobile number to your friends and people that you trust 
  • Don't lend your phone to someone you don't know or trust, or put it in a place where other people could get hold of it 
  • Most phones allow you to lock your phone with a PIN code. If you don't have the code you can't unlock it, so if anyone steals your phone they won't be able to use it 
  • If you have Bluetooth on your phone, keep this switched off when you are not using it
  • Register your phone with immobilise.com
  • You can security mark the battery and phone with your postcode and street number or the first two letters of your house name
  • Every phone has a 15-digit serial or IMEI number which is unique to the phone. You can find your phones IMEI number by keying *#06# into most phones or by looking behind the battery of your phone. Make a note of this number and keep it separate from your phone
  • Don't reply to a text message or video message that is abusive or obscene. You can report abusive messages to your mobile service provider (e.g. O2, Vodafone, Orange, etc). Have a look on their website for details.

If your phone is stolen

If you have registered with immobilise.com, contact them as soon as possible.

If you are not registered with immobilise.com, contact your service provider immediately. Give the provider the number of the phone and the IMEI number if you have it. The service provider can arrange for the phone to be blocked on their own, and all other, networks.

The IMEI number is unique to the handset. This means that the handset itself (not just the SIM card) will be blocked and can't be used on any network, even if a new SIM card is inserted.

Report the theft to the police and as soon as possible. They will want the following details:

  • Phone model details
  • Phone number
  • The IMEI or serial number if you have it.

Helpful sites 

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Online Safety
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Purple banner showing 4 young people made up of pixels next to a mobile phone. The heading in the middle reads "What's your child up to online?"

The internet has helped us all to share things, talk to our friends and meet new people, but it’s important to know how to stay safe online.

So whether you’re using the computer at school or college, or at home, follow our tips on how to avoid cyber bullying and stay safe online.

At home 

There has been a huge increase in the number of social networking sites (such as Facebook, Bebo, YouTube, etc) that are available for you to use.

These sites provide an opportunity to share content with existing friends or to be introduced to new friends.

Unfortunately, some people use these sites to bully other people. Have you ever been a victim of cyber bullying?

Not all people are who they say they are and there are dangers you need to be aware of when using these sites.

If you are setting up a profile for playing games online or for sites such as Facebook or MySpace, joining a forum, or just chatting using instant messaging, there are lots of things that you can do to stay safe.


When creating a profile:

  • Never use your real name
  • Use a random image or a picture of your favourite band, instead of posting a picture of you
  • Keep passwords private and don’t tell anyone, not even your best friend 
  • Change the security settings to only allow friends or family to see it.


When online:

  • Don’t give out personal information like your address, phone number or which school or college you go to
  • Don’t post any photos or videos that you wouldn’t want your parents or teacher to see – they can easily be copied and posted onto other parts of the internet, so even if you deleted them from your pages, they could still be online
  • Don’t add anyone you don’t know to your friends list
  • If someone leaves a nasty message, don’t reply to it, but save it and tell someone you trust, such as a parent or carer 
  • Don’t arrange to meet someone alone you met online, they may not be who they say they are 
  • Avoid sites that are meant for adults.


CEOP Report Abuse Button

Have you seen the CEOP symbol on the sites you use? The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) is where you can find help and advice about online safety.

If you use social networking or other sites offering chat or contact with online buddies then look for it. It is there for you.

If you need to report anything you see online, use this button to report it to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.


At school

Does your school or college computer allow you to access all the sites you want to? Probably not! This is because schools block certain websites from being accessed. This is done to protect not only you, but the computer as well.

Recently, more and more people are using ‘proxy servers’ to get round their school or college's internet security systems.

These ‘proxy servers’ disguise your activity from the school or college's monitoring software, meaning that you can access the pages you want to, play the online games you want to, and keep your friends updated on the social network sites you like to use. This may sound like fun, but there is a hidden danger.

Some of these proxy servers carry viruses and malicious software, and could be controlled by cyber criminals.

What this means is that the information you are viewing or entering, like passwords and logins, can be monitored by others who may sell your information online to criminals.

The advice is simple; do not be tempted to use proxy servers at school or college. You could end up infecting the computer with a virus, or worse, you could unknowingly be giving criminals access to your personal information.

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Bullying is anything that someone does to make you feel frightened or bad about yourself, like:

  • Calling you names 
  • Making things up to get you into trouble
  • Hitting, pinching, biting, pushing and shoving 
  • Taking things away from you 
  • Damaging your belongings 
  • Stealing your money 
  • Taking your friends away from you
  • Posting insulting messages on the internet, social network sites or by Instant Messenger. 
  • Spreading rumours
  • Threats and intimidation 
  • Making silent or abusive phone calls 
  • Sending you offensive phone texts.

Bullies can also frighten you so that you don't want to go to school or college, so that you pretend to be ill to avoid them.

It can really help if you talk to someone in your family, a carer, one of your friends, a teacher, or you can contact ChildLine at any time.

Bullying is very upsetting and if you feel you can't cope, tell your parents and go to see your doctor. Many doctors are very sympathetic about the effects of bullying and yours may be able to write a note for the school explaining the effect that bullying is having on your health.

Available in the iTunes App Store

If you have an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad then you may be interested in the BullyingUK app - The Official Bullying UK app that provides award winning advice in the palm of your hand. 

Cyber Bullying 

Cyber bullying is when a person, or a group of people, uses the internet, mobile phones or other digital technologies to threaten, tease or abuse someone.

It's against the law to bully someone in this way and if someone is being mean or threatening you, something can be done to stop them.

If you are being a victim of cyber bullying:

  • Talk to someone you trust like a parent or teacher as they can help you sort it out
  • Don’t reply to any messages you receive as this may encourage the bullies
  • Keep a copy of any abusive emails, texts or messages that you received and when they were sent to you
  • Block email addresses and/or complain to host website.