Happy slapping is an inaccurate description for an assault in which the attack is filmed. There’s nothing happy about it and it is should be taken seriously. The first incidents of happy slapping were often on buses and trains, and quickly spread to the school playground and street.

The assault usually involves a stranger being hit over the head while other people take photographs/video on their camera phones. The pictures are then circulated by mobile phone or put on the internet. In recent years happy slapping has become an unpleasant and dangerous craze. There have been a number of high profile cases in which attackers have been jailed for killing people in this way.

Where happy slapping attacks have happened in school playgrounds pupils have been afraid to return to school. Anyone who thinks this is just a bit of harmless fun should think about the consequences. Anyone assaulted in this way should tell their parents who should make a complaint to the police.

Happy slapping is a criminal offence

There are a number of offences involved. The first is assault, the second is harassment if the pictures are shown around and uploaded to the internet and it may also be against telecommunications law.

Bullying UK has had numerous complaints about abusive videos uploaded to websites like YouTube. If you or your friends are the victim of a filmed assault please contact us and we’ll advise you how to get the material removed.

Some schools have already banned mobile phones from being used during the day to prevent pupils sending abusive text messages. We’re now hearing of others banning them after happy slapping incidents. It’s unfortunate that the behaviour of a tiny minority of pupils inconveniences everyone but if head teachers think there is a risk of assaults on the premises then they need to protect pupils.