Posted: Tue 14th Mar 2023

North Wales Police: Man arrested after breach of Harassment Order over social media

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Mar 14th, 2023

North Wales Police have arrested a man for breaching a harassment order via social media.

In early March, the force undertook Operation Blue Silver Birch to protect victims of domestic violence.

The breach was discovered during the operation when officers visited victims’ homes to ensure that suspects were not breaching harassment orders.

During the operation, an incident was disclosed to police where the suspect had added the victim to a closed Instagram story group with just the two of them in it, before adding stories that were aimed towards the victim.

This is “a very clever way of breaching the conditions of the Harassment Order as there is deniability on this suspect’s side as it is posted to a general story.” Police have said.

There is no notification to the victim that they have been added to what is effectively a closed group, and the victims cannot see who else is in the group.

“It is worth knowing that if a closed group has been created the outline of the story box will be green.” A force spokesperson added.

A man was arrested in the early hours of March 2 and remanded in custody.

On 3rd March, the court issued a Protection from harassment order, and imposed a 12-week suspended sentence.

Any further breaches could result in the prison sentence being activated by a court.

North Wales Police Force Lead for Violence Against Women and Girls, Superintendent Jason Devonport said: “We are committed to eradicating all forms of violence against women and girls.”

“Domestic violence and abuse against all individuals is a priority to us, and we will use all powers available to us to keep our communities safe.”

“Many people who offend online think that their only consequence will be involvement with the police and the worst-case scenario is going to prison.”

“But there are many more consequences, and conviction can affect your access to your children, your relationship, your finances and your job.”

“If you, or someone you know, has been a victim of Domestic violence or harassment, there are a few different ways you can report it to us. We understand it can be difficult.”

“Our officers and partner organisations are here to listen and work together to support you in any way we can.”

“Importantly, your information could help us bring the offender to justice and make sure you, and other people in a similar situation, are kept safe.”

North Wales Police encourages victims of domestic violence or harassment to come forward and report incidents to the authorities.

They have a secure and confidential online crime reporting service, and their national non-emergency telephone number, 101, is staffed 24/7.

For immediate danger or crime taking place, individuals should call 999.

Operation Blue Silver Birch is part of a broader effort by North Wales Police to combat domestic violence and protect vulnerable individuals.

The force hopes that the operation will raise awareness of the issue and encourage people to come forward and report incidents of domestic violence or harassment.

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