Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Hundreds of children quizzed over 'sexting'

Children as young as six have been questioned by police over "sexting", according to new figures.

More than 1,000 youngsters under the age of 18 have been investigated for sending nude or explicit images of themselves on social media or messaging services since 2012, data obtained by the Sun through Freedom of Information requests suggests.

The number of investigations into under-18s for making, possessing or distributing indecent images rose from 150 three years ago to 742 in the past year, while a quarter of those arrested were under the age of 13.

It comes after the National Crime Agency (NCA) launched a campaign in June, revealing it received on average one report a day of a child protection issue linked to the craze.

Children's charity the NSPCC said: "We don't want to see children criminalised. But while many of them may see sexting as harmless fun it is illegal and can leave young people vulnerable to blackmail and bullying, or attract the attention of sex offenders as the images may get shared online."

The charity has previously said its ChildLine service provided 1,300 counselling sessions last year for young people worried about sexting.

Last week, a 14-year-old boy claimed he was added to a police database after sending a naked picture of himself to a female classmate. The incident had been recorded as a crime, the boy's mother said, even though he was not arrested or charged.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?


From Belfast Telegraph