23 Nov 2010

Spate of self-harm texts worries police

7:30 pm on 23 November 2010

Police in South Auckland are worried about a recent spate of text messages that encourages young people to harm themselves, saying at least one 12-year-old girl has died as a result.

They are speaking to about half a dozen schools in the Papakura area where they say children have been sending and receiving the text messages which give instructions on how to self-harm.

Police say school counsellors are working with the children, but are asking parents to be vigilant and keep an eye on their children, especially with school holidays approaching.

Two other children, a 10-year-old boy and another 12-year-old girl, have died from harming themselves in the past two weeks, although police say they did not receive text messages encouraging them to do so.