Bridgend suicide incidents
The Bridgend suicide incidents are a set of suicides involving young people in Bridgend County Borough in South Wales. Reports speculated that a "suicide cult" was to blame. As of December 2008, there had been twenty-six known suicides in or from Bridgend county since January 2007, though police have found no evidence to link the cases together. Of 26 people who killed themselves between January 2007 and February 2009, all but one died from hanging.
The parents of one of the dead accused the media of "glamorising ways of taking one's life to young people". Madeleine Moon, Member of Parliament for Bridgend said that the media were "now part of the problem". The mother of one of the deceased added: "We have lost our son and the media reporting of this has made it more unbearable".
Many of the suicides were undertaken by teenagers between the ages of 13 to 17.
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.
On 12 January 2010 it was reported that another two people had killed themselves in the town.
An article in People magazine reported that by February 2012 seventy-nine people had ended their lives by hanging "in the area". Most of the victims are young adults, but the age range is 13 to 41 years of age. In 2010 police asked the media to stop covering the suicides in an attempt to prevent copycats. 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.
A 2013 documentary and a 2015 drama film starring Hannah Murray (director Jeppe Rønde) have been made about these incidents, both called Bridgend. The 2015 film was viewed in Wales as sensationalist, lacking truth and exploitative, in that it showed local youths screaming out to their dead friends in the misty woods, skinny dipping en masse and revelling in weekly underage drinking.
To put this into context the Office of National Statistics reports that the rate of suicides, averaged across England and Wales, in 2010 is 11.1 per 100,000 people. In the same report Wales and the North East of England had the highest suicide rates at 14.6 and 13.2 per 100,000 respectively. The lowest rates were in London (9.3) and the West Midlands (9.9).
The latest statistics available (2015) show that the rate of suicide has dropped to 10.9 per 100,000. The rate in Wales had reduced to 13.0 and the North East to 10.9. The highest English region was Yorks and Humber at 11.6, with the lowest regions being the East (9.3) and the West Midlands (9.6). Across the UK as a whole the highest rates of suicide were found in Northern Ireland (19.3) and Scotland (14.0).
Of the victims, all but one died by hanging. No link could be drawn between them, no evidence could be found of someone contacting them, and many were thought by family members to be far from suicidal, even having their own long-term goals in life. There were never suicide notes and many had no evidence that they were pre-planned.
- Bridgend Suicides: Another Body Found |Sky News|UK News
- Telegraph.co.uk - "Teenage boy from Bridgend found hanged in latest suspected suicide"
- Shoumatoff, Alex (27 February 2009). "The Mystery Suicides of Bridgend County". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
- "Parents attack suicides coverage". BBC. 2008-02-19. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
- 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.
- Booth, Robert (20 February 2008). "Suspected suicides in Bridgend area reach 17 as schoolgirl found hanged". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-01-13. Retrieved 2010-01-12.
- People Magazine (May 14, 2012) A Tragedy in Wales: A Small Town Mystery
- "Bridgend (2013)". IMDb.
- "Bridgend (2015)". IMDb.
- "Bridgend suicides movie trailer verdict: Two minutes that's utterly reprehensible". Walesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
- "Bridgend: Too close for comfort". filmenquiry.com. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
- "Suicides in the United Kingdom: 2011 registrations". Office for National Statistics.
- "Suicides in the UK: 2015 registrations". Office for National Statistics.