Many young people see sexting as a normal part of life but it is against the law and can have unintended consequences, so on Safer Internet Day, 7 February we are highlighting the potential pitfalls of sharing indecent images with the call to action of ‘Don’t bare then share’
Sexting is the sharing of indecent images, videos or other sexual content and it is a growing issue; a recent survey by the NSPCC shows around 1 in 7 young people have taken a semi-naked or naked picture of themselves and over half shared this with someone else. It is often considered harmless but can lead to children being exploited, bullied and blackmailed.
‘Don’t bare then share’ is a story about the loss of control after a nude selfie is taken and shared. It will exclusively launch on Snapchat to reach young people and will rollout on other channels to inform parents about the issues and signpost to advice.
Police and Crime commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “We are fortunate to live in a time when our young people have the world at their fingertips, thanks to mobile technology and the internet. This digital age offers huge positive potential, but unfortunately it can lead to instances where young people share sexual images which often they later regret.
“This can lead to bullying or harassment or even the images appearing on internet child sexual exploitation sites. We all have a responsibility to safeguard our young people. By educating them on the unintended consequences of their actions, we can hopefully ensure they have a better understanding and are safer when online.”
T/Detective Chief Superintendent Geoff Wessell said: “Sexting is a growing concern so we are using Safer Internet Day to remind young people that it is against the law and there can be unintended consequences of taking and sharing explicit pictures.
“There is sometimes a reluctance to report sexting out of concern that a youthful indiscretion could lead to a criminal record. This is only the case if there is exploitation, coercion or if adults are involved in taking or sharing the images. Educating and supporting young people is at the forefront of all we do and we are taking steps to ensure no young person is unnecessarily criminalised.
“We are asking parents to talk to their children about sexting by providing information and signposting to great resources to help young people stay safe.”
If your children are on snapchat ask them to add ‘aspolice’ as a friend and for more information on sexting go to https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/xxx and www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/sexting or follow us on Facebook and twitter.
Posted on Tuesday 7th February 2017