Bridgend suicide incidents

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The Bridgend suicide incidents were a set of at least 26 suicides involving young people in Bridgend County Borough in South Wales in 2007 and 2008.[1] Reports speculated that a "suicide cult" was to blame, though police found no evidence to link the cases together. Of the suicides, all but one died from hanging.[2]

Many of the suicides were teenagers between the ages of 13 to 17. The parents of one of the dead accused the media of "glamorising ways of taking one's life to young people".[3] Madeleine Moon, Member of Parliament for Bridgend said that the media were "now part of the problem".[4] The mother of one of the deceased added: "We have lost our son and the media reporting of this has made it more unbearable".[4]

In the years between 1996 and 2006, an average of three men ended their own lives in Bridgend every year. In 2007, the total was believed to be at least nine.[5] On 12 January 2010 it was reported that another two people had died by suicide in the town.[6]

In 2010 police asked the media to stop covering the suicides in an attempt to prevent copycat suicides. Bridgend is a former market town of around 39,000 people; however, the suicides stretched over the whole county borough of Bridgend, which has a population of over 130,000.[7] The Office of National Statistics reports that the rate of suicides, averaged across England and Wales in 2010, was 11.1 per 100,000 people per year,[8] with Wales and the North East of England having the highest suicide rates at 14.6 and 13.2 per 100,000 respectively.

A 2013 documentary[9] and a 2015 drama film[10] were made about these incidents, both called Bridgend. The 2015 film was viewed in Wales as sensationalist, exploitative and lacking in truth, in that it showed local youths screaming out to their dead friends in the misty woods, skinny dipping en masse and revelling in regular underage drinking.[11][12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Telegraph.co.uk - "Teenage boy from Bridgend found hanged in latest suspected suicide"
  2. ^ Shoumatoff, Alex (27 February 2009). "The Mystery Suicides of Bridgend County". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  3. ^ "Parents attack suicides coverage". BBC. 19 February 2008. Retrieved 20 February 2008.
  4. ^ a b Hughes, Mark (20 February 2008). "Bridgend suicides: 'I feel shaken to the core. Why are youngsters around here doing this?'". The Independent. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
  5. ^ Booth, Robert (20 February 2008). "Suspected suicides in Bridgend area reach 17 as schoolgirl found hanged". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  6. ^ "Bridgend struck by new suicides - Yahoo! News UK". Archived from the original on 13 January 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  7. ^ People Magazine (May 14, 2012) A Tragedy in Wales: A Small Town Mystery
  8. ^ "Suicides in the United Kingdom: 2011 registrations". Office for National Statistics.
  9. ^ "Bridgend (2013)". IMDb.
  10. ^ "Bridgend (2015)". IMDb.
  11. ^ "Bridgend suicides movie trailer verdict: Two minutes that's utterly reprehensible". Walesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  12. ^ "Bridgend: Too close for comfort". filmenquiry.com. Retrieved 8 September 2017.