According to some commentators, 'happy slapping' is on the rise. Until recently, readers over 18 may have needed a definition of the trend, which involves young people slapping, punching and sometimes kicking strangers. Footage of each incident is captured on videophone, and then sent out to friends and acquaintances. Some of the 'short films' even find their way on to the web. Since 'the craze' was widely reported in the UK throughout May 2005, and linked to the broader issue of anti-social behaviour and the wearing of 'hoodies', supplying definitions has become unnecessary as awareness of the problem is more widespread. Several local assault cases made national news after the fact that they were also recorded on mobile phone video cameras emerged in the courtroom. Other unsolved incidents, which might once have been dismissed as school bullying, also attracted headlines.Download
Articles about happy slapping - the supposed new craze of videoing assaults on a mobile phone - have dominated the UK media in recent months. Are new policies needed to tackle this alarming consequence of teenage enthusiasm for new mobile technologies? Graham Barnfield urges caution.
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