Violence prevention meeting

A violence prevention meeting will be held in Middlemarch tomorrow as police inquiries into online attacks on social media continue.

Senior Constable Helen Fincham-Putter, of Middlemarch, said there had been ``keyboard warriors in our midst'' since the conviction of Strath Taieri Community Board member Bevan Dowling.

Mr Dowling resigned from the board in September after being convicted on August 17 of assaulting a woman after returning home from a pub.

People had been ``venting and getting personal'' in comments on the matter on social media, she said.

``It's divided the community,'' Snr Const Fincham-Putter said.

A community member had posted on social media about the need for Mr Dowling to resign, prompting another community member to post about the original commentator's ``skeletons in the closet''.

Three complaints about the comments had been forwarded to another police officer to follow up, she said.

Police were supporting the Sophie Elliott Foundation violence-prevention meeting in Middlemarch tomorrow.

The meeting would be held at the Strath Taieri Community Centre at 7.30pm.

The meeting was being held to help people identify whether a relationship was ``good or bad'', Snr Const Fincham-Putter said.

Clutha-Taieri area response manager Senior Sergeant Cynthia Fairley would speak at the meeting.

The meeting was also supported by the board.

Board chairman Barry Williams said he hoped the meeting would be productive and well-attended.

``Probably the ones you want and need there won't be there - I hope I'm wrong ...

``None of us condone what happened and if there is a way of preventing it throughout the community, we'll do it.''

shawn.mcavinue@alliedpress.co.nz

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