Cumbria teens warned of ‘sexting’ dangers [North West Evening Mail, 05/08/2013]

TEENAGERS are being warned of the dangers of ‘sexting’ as part of a Cumbria police campaign.

Sexting’ is when someone takes an indecent photo of themselves and sends it to a partner or friend – via mobile phone or some other form of technology.

The campaign runs throughout the summer holidays and is aimed at educating parents and carers as well as highlighting some of the perils of online communication.

Detective Inspector Stephanie Brown, of the Public Protection Unit at Cumbria Constabulary, said: “Many young people see sexting as a bit of fun, that’s just between themselves and their partner.

“But the truth is once you have sent an image to others you have lost control of it and it can end up anywhere.

“These images could be then used to bully, harass or even locate the person who sent the image.

“My advice is if you wouldn’t like your parents or teachers to see an image – don’t send it.

“If anyone receives an indecent image or text do not send it on and report it to a responsible adult. Technically possessing an indecent image of another minor is a criminal offence and you could be breaking the law.”

Police and Crime Commissioner, Richard Rhodes said: “I welcome the Constabulary’s campaign especially aimed at keeping young people safe online.

Sexting is not fun and can have significant consequences. It is really important that people use modern technology responsibly.”

Helen Smith, from Children’s Services at Cumbria County Council, said: “I would encourage all teenagers in Cumbria to follow Cumbria Police on Facebook and Twitter for the next two weeks for advice on the dangers of sexting.

“The risk of exposing intimate images of yourself for the world to see is too great a price to pay for a moment’s lapse in judgement.

“If you are concerned about an image you may have sent always tell an adult you trust – which could be your mum, dad, teacher, or a family friend.”

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