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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Trend: Citizen Journalism: Happy Slapping

Young thugs carry out attacks just "for the buzz", while recording on camera phones and stealing gadgets+phones

According to The Mirror, "one in five young thugs carry out attacks just "for the buzz", with figures showing a sharp rise in street crime. "The Home Office found violent teenage attackers gave innocent victims a beating simply for fun or because they were bored and "had nothing else to do". Five per cent of those quizzed admitted carrying out assaults as a dare by friends - often with the happy slapping filmed on their mobile phones. Robberies leapt 11 per cent in England and Wales as muggers targeted victims for their expensive iPods and flashy mobile phones. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said last year that the popularity of MP3 players and mobiles was fuelling an increase in robberies.

Welcome to the disturbing world of the "happy slappers" - a youth craze in which groups of teenagers armed with camera phones slap or mug unsuspecting children or passersby while capturing the attacks on 3g technology.

According to police and anti-bullying organisations, the fad, which began as a craze on the UK garage music scene before catching on in school playgrounds across London last autumn, is now a nationwide phenomenon, and recent incidents have occurred in other countries. Expect America to join in as phones become more sophisticated in the coming year(s). Just recall the prior fad of videotapping mischief as cheap cameras got into the hands of bored suburban youth looking for kicks.

Read more from the Mirror article here:

Keep up with the Happy Slapping debate at this blog (though it doesn't seem to be updated too frequently, a Google Search or a search at will give you loads on the latest incidents and convictions):


Adrian said...

Ahh life in London...tragic

Anonymous said...

Fad never caught on in America because people usually carry guns and/or the police would show up and throw the book at them.

This fad sounds like the early beginnings of the UK from "A Clockwork Orange". Happy slapping being the mild precursor to the old ultra-violence.

Good luck over there =(