Fears ‘disturbing’ trend where kids film attacks for ‘sport’ will end in death

A dangerous internet trend where kids share videos of attacks for "sport" could end with someone dying, experts have warned.

In April footage emerged of a 12-year-old girl being allegedly attacked in a park in Liverpool. It was claimed she was lured there by a gang of other kids before being set upon.

The video shows children cheering, with one heard saying "smash her head in" and "chat s*** get banged".

Merseyside Police branded the incident "despicable and cowardly", reports the Liverpool Echo.

The victim's mum said: "I can't watch the videos – they are sickening. It shocked me to see this – she's not a fighter.

"These kids are feral – I've never seen anything like it. I think the most shocking part of it was the way boys who didn't even know her were joining in.

"You had older boys kicking her in the head. It was absolutely vile. I want to draw attention to it to try and make sure their parents are aware of what they did. This is how bad these children are."

Merseyside Police confirmed a 12-year-old girl was arrested on suspicion of Section 47 assault causing actual bodily harm. She was released under investigation while police look to identify all involved.

Christine Pratt, founder of the National Bullying Helpline, said: "What's happening is really disturbing. Parents report it to us when they hear about what has happened but a lot of the time they don't hear. The behaviour of videoing the assault and putting it on social media is ongoing intimidation and cyber bullying.

"It is seen as sport and amusement by the children involved. There will be a tragedy if something isn't done."

Last week footage was shared of another assault in a park in Liverpool which saw a girl, 13, allegedly being attacked by a gang of teenagers. It showed the girl being punched and stamped on in a prolonged attack that her parents claim was the culmination of six months of severe bullying.

The teenager's parents said she sustained severe cuts and bruising during the attack. They are moving from the area and changing schools due to the "disgusting" violence.

The worrying craze hasn't just escalated in recent weeks. Another mum said her daughter, 13 at the time, was attacked by a gang of children in May last year after getting off a bus.

The mum said: "When I got there she was crying and told me what happened. She said they were posting the video on Snapchat. I was so angry."

Community policing superintendent Karl Baldwin said following the most recent incidents that "the actions of children, or anyone, who commits anti-social behaviour or more serious offences cannot be tolerated".

He said: "To attack someone in this manner is appalling, but to also record it on a mobile phone and then share it online is even worse and something we take extremely seriously at Merseyside Police.

"If parents are aware that their child has committed an offence, they should do the right thing and contact us.

"If you are a victim of any form of abuse, whether it’s physical or verbal, or you are worried for the safety or wellbeing of a child, please get in touch with us right away."

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