Humberside Police, in Yorkshire, said they had
recently received “numerous reports” of young people sexting
and sharing sexual, naked or semi-naked photos.
Issuing the guidance on Tuesday 11 April, they wrote on their website: “We’re urging
parents to talk to their children about the dangers of
sexting as it could lead to embarrassment, blackmail or even
a criminal record.”
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The statement continued: “We know talking about sexting with
your child may feel uncomfortable or awkward but it is
incredibly important to discuss the risks, teach them
how to stay safe and explain how these reports can use up
valuable police investigation time.”
The police force issued the following six tips for parents to help them discuss
sexting with their child:
1. Don’t accuse them of sexting, but do
explain the dangers and legal issues.
2. Tell them what can happen when things go
3. It may be easier to use examples, such as
television programmes or news stories where sexting takes
4. Ask them if they’d want something private
shown to the world. Talk about the granny rule: ‘Would you
want your granny to see the image you’re sharing?’
5. Talk about whether a person who asks for
an image from you might also be asking other people for
6. If children are sending images to people
they trust, they might not think there’s much risk involved.
Use examples of when friends or partners have had a
falling-out and what might happen to the images if this
In January 2017, parents were warned about a long list of
“sexting codes” that their child could potentially be
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI)
shared an image of the codes that was revealed by a US
technology programme: ‘The Kim Komando Show’.
A study by the NSPCC in 2016 revealed that
50% of parents do not know it is illegal for their child to
take nude selfies.
A young person (under 16 years old) is breaking the law if
Take an explicit photo or video of themselves or someone
Share an explicit image or video of a child, even shared
between people of the same age.
Possess, download or store these images.
As of January 2016, if a young person is found creating or
sharing images, the police can choose to record that a
crime has been committed but that taking formal action
isn’t in the public interest.
For more information and advice on sexting, visit NSPCC.org.uk.