The Metropolitan Police are to set up a two-year pilot scheme involving five officers and a team of volunteers to identify online abuse and support victims. Based in London, the team will filter and identify online hate crimes (hostile offences aggravated by reason of the victim’s race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity) and allocate cases to the appropriate local force.
Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary, and Senior Labour MP Yvette Cooper have both called for a review of the law governing online harassment, stalking and abuse to prevent inconsistent enforcement and to encourage those affected to report the crime.
Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson, the country’s most senior civil judge, has expressed his concern over the effect of large year’s increase in court fees. In March 2015 fees for claims valued at £10,000 or above began attracting a court fee of 5%. This resulted in some fees increasing by nearly 600%.
Paige Mitchell, aged 24, has become the first woman to be convicted under the new revenge porn laws that were brought into effect in April this year. She had posted four explicit images of her ex-partner, which had been sent to her in the course of their relationship, on Facebook after an argument in May 2015. Ms Mitchell removed the images when she was told that it was a criminal offence to post them; it is understood that they were online for half an hour.
The Attorney-General has appeared in person before the High Court to ask that two men be committed to jail for “acts likely to interfere with the administration of justice”. In both instances the acts arise from the use of the internet whilst jurors in criminal trial. In an indication of how seriously the courts are treating the issue of internet use and contempt, the cases are being heard by sir John Thomas (President of the Queen’s Bench Division and the future Lord Chief Justice) and Mr Justice sweeney.
Two serving prisoners have brought a libel action against the police for the contents of a press release which they allege have defamed them. In RH and AA* v The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis  EWHC 848 (QB), the High Court was asked to consider the actual meaning of the words complained of in a press release entitled ˜Three Jailed for Murder of Marvin Henry and whether the proceedings were an abuse of process.