Map reveals which city is the UK’s online trolling capital

Map reveals which city is the UK’s online trolling capital

Map of online harrassment hotspots in the UK (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

Once an activity confined to the darkest corners of the internet, trolling has sadly gone mainstream.

Revenge porn, doxxing, deepfakes and social media stalking are all tools in the online abuser’s arsenal, which has seen Google searches for ‘how to report online harassment’ skyrocket by over 150% in 2024 alone.

Research has shown that around 44% of all internet users have experienced some form of harassment online, with YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok and Facebook emerging as the most fertile platforms for cyberbullying.

With women being 27 times more likely to be at risk of online cyberbullying than men, a series of FOI requests submitted by Independent Advisor Broadband have revealed the top 10 UK cities with the most online harassment and cyberbullying police reports recorded between 2021 and 2023.

Manchester is the UK’s online trolling hotspot (Picture: Getty)

Topping the list is Manchester, with Greater Manchester Police reporting the highest number of online harassment and cyberbullying incidents in the UK, with a staggering 771 reports per 100,000 people.

Over a three-year period, Manchester reported a staggering 64,821 incidents – accounting for 46.7% of all reports in the UK. 

With a population of 2,800,000, GMP recorded 29% more incidents per 100,000 people than the next closest constabulary, Cleveland.

Speaking of Cleveland, the north-eastern county came in second on the list, with police reporting 598 incidences of online harassment and cyberbullying per 100,000 people since 2021.

Despite having a population of just 557,000, and the second smallest in this list, the area averaged 3,331 reports annually, equating to approximately 9.1 incidents per day. In the last 3 years, Cleveland has recorded a total of 9,994 reports – with a 20% decrease in reports from 2022 to 2023.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary has the third highest police reports for online harassment and cyberbullying in the UK, at 262 per 100,000 people in the last three years.

With an annual average of 4,320 reports, this translates to approximately 11.8 incidents per day in Avon and Somerset. Since 2021, the area has reported a total of 12,959 accounts of online harassment and cyberbullying from a population size of 1,650,000.

Women are 27 times more likely to suffer online harassment than men (Picture: Getty Images)

Cumbria, West Mercia and North Wales are all closely behind with around 250 incidents per 100,000 people each, while Cambridgeshire rounds out the list with 105 incidents.

Coming in at the other end of the scale, Essex Police recorded the least amount of online harassment and cyberbullying reports, with just 5 recorded incidents per 100,000 people between 2021 and 2023.

Similarly, reports in Leicestershire Constabulary decreased by 45% between 2021 and 2023.

Dorset, meanwhile, has seen the highest increase in reports of online harassment and cyberbullying between 2021 and 2023, with cases rising by a staggering 64%.

Victims of harassment should make sure to document all evidence (Picture: Getty)

Valeen Oseh-Ovarah, ex-Cyber-Crime Investigator and CEO & Cybersecurity Founder at TisOva, gave the following advice for people suffering from online abuse: ‘Avoid blaming yourself for the harassment. It is not your fault. Showing kindness to yourself helps you focus attention on the perpetrator rather than on yourself.

‘A helpful habit is to practice self-compassion and remind yourself that you are not to blame for the harassment.’

‘Documenting is crucial for reporting and may serve as evidence if legal action is required. Keep a record of all communication (screenshots of texts, images, videos, chats, etc.).

‘While it may be difficult to do this, documenting all evidence is crucial to show evidence of harm and could become very useful when reporting the incident to law enforcement, social media platforms, or internet providers.’

She added: ‘Reporting cyberbullying and online harassment incidents is very important. Reporting ensures that perpetrators take accountability for their actions and prevents more individuals to fall victim to their acts.

‘Report the incident to the platform where it happened, to the police, or to someone you trust for necessary actions.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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