POLITICS

Nova Scotia appoints former police officer to lead cyberbullying unit

06/06/2013 10:47 EDT | Updated 08/06/2013 05:12 EDT
HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's justice minister has appointed the director of his department's public safety investigations to lead a new unit that will investigate cyberbullying.

Ross Landry says Roger Merrick has been named the director of the team of five investigators, set to be in operation this fall.

Merrick, a former police officer, also runs the civil forfeiture unit and the provincial firearms safety program.

The unit will investigate all complaints of cyberbullying, whether the victim is a youth or an adult.

Landry says it can attempt to resolve complaints informally by contacting the people involved, or it can seek a cyberbullying prevention order that would force someone to stop communicating with another.

If criminal charges are warranted, the unit will refer the case to police.

The team was announced this spring following the case of Rehtaeh Parsons, a 17-year-old Halifax girl who died after she was allegedly sexually assaulted and endured months of online harassment as a result of the incident.