A couple of people have asked me about Bridgend hitting the news, yet again, for all the wrong reasons. For those of you who don’t know, that was one of the places I lived when I was kid – actually where I stayed put longest. It recently hit the news because of this.
Anyway, I had no idea this had happened but now I am aware – and I was asked – here is my view:
It is a terrible tragedy for the families and friends involved, my thoughts are with them.
The media coverage is inaccurate, sensationalised and insensitive to the relatives of those recently affected as well as the many families in the area who have gone through this in the last ten to fifteen years.
There have always been a high number of teenage deaths in the Bridgend area (suicide and accidental) for reasons that are complex and varied but none of which include social networking sites. These include the close proximity of unstable cliffs, dangerous tidal conditions around the Ogmore estuary, inadequate speed limits on the A48, social deprivation due to the decline of manufacturing, high levels of drug abuse, and frankly inadequate support services for teenagers particularly males.
Reports warning of the evils of sites such as Bebo show a high level of ignorance both of how the internet works and how teenagers interact. And that’s all I’m willing to say.
The mood will lighten later with Columbo Villain of the week. Promise.