In a statement released police are urging parents to speak to their children and explain the long term implications they could face by sexting friends.
A spokes person for the police said;
“We have recently had numerous reports of young people sharing sexual, naked or semi-naked images of themselves, also known as sexting. Therefore, 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.”
“Children and young people often have access to, or have their own, mobile phones. The camera facility on the phone is brilliant to capture their memories, but what happens when the camera is used in an inappropriate way?”
“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.”
Top tips for discussing sexting with your child:
– Don’t accuse them of sexting but do explain the dangers and legal issues.
– Tell them what can happen when things go wrong.
– It may be easier to use examples such as television programmes or news stories.
– 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?
– Talk about whether a person who asks for an image from you might also be asking other people for images.
– 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 happens.
For more information about the risks of sexting and how to discuss the issue with your child visit the NSPCC website.
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