Police in Northamptonshire are warning of the dangers of sexting, i.e. sending explicit images online, after a string of incidents across the county.
Officers are investigating 24 separate cases involving the sharing of explicit material on sites such as Instagram, involving children as young as 12.
Police are reminding people that one click can have a massive impact and young people are being urged to think twice before ‘sexting’ and to pause before they post something on social media they may later regret.
Detective Inspector Richard Tompkins, who leads the force s RISE (Reducing Incidents of Sexual Exploitation) team, told Connect FM:
“It is really important people are aware of the dangers of sharing explicit material online.
“The dissemination of any material depicting nudity or sexual activity involving young people could constitute a criminal offence.
“It may seem like harmless fun at the time but it can have huge emotional consequences for those involved, leaving them vulnerable to blackmail, bullying and harm.
“It’s really important to remember that once an image is online all control of where it ends up is lost.
“There are specially trained officers in my team who deal sensitively with children suffering from the consequences of ‘sexting’. We work closely with children s services and organisations such as the NSPCC and I encourage anybody with any concerns to report them to Northamptonshire Police on 101.
“I’d also like to appeal to anybody with any information about people posting images on-line to contact police, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
The NSPCC has a Share Aware campaign aimed at parents of eight to 12 year olds HERE
For further information, advice or support go to CEOP or Thinkuknow ChildLine can be contacted on 0800 1111.