Belfast Telegraph

Police appeal after thousands watch Northern Ireland school ground attack video

By Jonathan Bell

Police have appealed for a video of a school ground attack - watched by thousands of people online - to be removed from Facebook.

Over the weekend a video emerged of an attack at Crumlin Integrated College involving two girls.

It shows the girls involved in a confrontation before one of them sets on the other while other children watch on.

She can be seen grabbing the girl by the hair and throwing her on the ground and then subjecting her to a series of blows.

"Are you sorry now," she can be heard shouting.

It is understood the incident happened in April and the matter is being dealt with by the courts.

Since it emerged on social media it has been viewed over 30,000 times with many sharing it and commenting on it.

Police, on Facebook, said they had received dozens of messages about the attack saying the matter had already been investigated. They cautioned those commenting on the post that they could endanger any possible trial.

"Yes, it's important to highlight the issue of violence and bullying, but not at the expense of a victim in such a public way," police said urging those who had shared the video to delete it.

"The victim, her family and friends, will now be seeing this all over their social media and being subjected to it being dredged all back up again.

"Yes, it's important to highlight the issue of violence and bullying, but not at the expense of a victim in such a public way."

They appealed to the person who posted the video to remove it, praising him for his "sterling job of raising awareness".

At the end of the video he appeals for people to share the video in the hope of action being taken against the alleged perpetrator. Police said they were unable to directly contact him and instead mentioned him in their post.

"The original poster of the video is undoubtedly doing a sterling job of raising awareness-the passionate plea at the end of the video shows a real desire to make a difference which is a great thing for someone with public influence to do," police said.

"Also, having read through the comments there are several parents out there who have as a result had a conversation with their children, and that is only a good thing, but the victim here really needs to be thought of.

"As well as the victims well being, raising such public anger could put a court case at risk. I'm sure that's the last thing people would want now."

A spokesperson for Crumlin Integrated College said: “It would be inappropriate for the school to comment on the specifics of an individual case except to say that issues surrounding the videoed incident have been appropriately addressed by the college several months ago. 

“Crumlin Integrated College takes all incidences of inappropriate behaviour seriously, and has a robust suite of policies in place aimed at securing a safe learning environment for all members of the school community. These policies are reviewed biannually by governors.

“The college works with the families and pupils concerned, and other agencies as required, to ensure that any issues relating to inappropriate behaviour are addressed as quickly and effectively as possible.

“The central focus of any intervention must be safeguarding the welfare of the pupils involved, working to ensure the restoration of a safe learning environment for all pupils.”

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