Facebook and Snapchat are to launch ‘police’ icons that users can click if they feel threatened online in new crackdown on cyberbullies

Police officers are set to monitor social media sites in a bid to stamp out hate crime and cyber bullying.
Social media companies are looking into installing police icons on their sites which users can click if they feel threatened.
The function would allow an officer working remotely to access the chat and offer advice to anyone feeling vulnerable – or at risk of online grooming by paedophiles.

According to the NSPCC, the number of children and young people tormented at the hands of online trolls has increased by 88 per cent in five years.
There were more than 11,000 counselling sessions with young people who talked to Childline about online issues last year.
National Police Chiefs Council Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh told The Times officers would not be able to roam sites at random and the scheme would work only if the user invited them in.

He told the paper officers would also be able to take details from potential paedophiles trying to groom children online to identify offenders and use as evidence.
The new social media function follows the Snoopers’ Charter which was passed by Parliament in November.

The new law introduces new surveillance and hacking powers.
The bill, officially called the Investigatory Powers Bill, forces electronic data to be stored by internet providers for 12 months, which can be subsequently collected by law enforcement.
Some 48 departments now have access to information such as internet browsing history, set out in Schedule 4 of the Act.
These include police, GCHQ, government departments such as the Home Office, MoD, Department of Health, the Food Standards Agency, HM Revenue & Customs and the Gambling Commission.
NSPCC Chief Executive, Peter Wanless said: ‘We need to eliminate all videos of children being physically attacked by other young people, and we are challenging social media companies to play their part by removing this content as soon as it comes to their attention, as well as the public to pledge their support and no longer stay silent.
‘Enabling videos of abuse to be shared and circulated may seem like a good way to raise awareness but it can have a very damaging effect, forcing the young person to relive their humiliating and terrifying experience repeatedly.’