UK Cracking Down on Suicide Sites

Spate of copycat deaths sparks calls for tougher laws
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2008 3:45 PM CST
A general view shows Blaengarw, near the town of Bridgend in Wales, Wednesday Jan. 23, 2008, where 17-year-old Natasha Randall committed suicide in her home there last week. Seven young people around...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A spate of apparent copycat suicides in a Wales town has lead to a nationwide campaign against suicide websites, the Guardian reports. Rumor has it that seven recent suicide victims in the town of Bridgend knew each other, and noted each others' deaths on a social networking site. Police are probing for a possible link, as politicians have swung into action.

In the past seven years, 28 people have killed themselves after visiting suicide chat rooms or how-to sites. Several departments, including health, culture, and children, are investigating the problem, as the UK pressures ISPs to block sites encouraging or discussing suicide. The ISPs say their hands are tied unless the sites are illegal, so some advocates are calling for tougher laws.