Coronation Street’s latest storyline hits home with the sad truths about what is deemed normal in many young peoples’ social circles.
Recently Dev Alahan’s daughter, Asha, was encouraged by her on-screen boyfriend to send an indecent video which she thought was private. The video was then maliciously shared around a group chat by somebody at a party on the boy’s phone. With all of her friends and peers having seen it, she tries her best to hide it from her dad, until someone else’s dad finds out.
Our Head of Crime & Regulatory, Rachel Fletcher, discusses the importance of raising awareness that this is a criminal offence.
The Harsh Reality
Sadly Asha’s experience is typical of the experience of hundreds of teenagers across the UK. Asha aged 14, agreed to remove her clothes and video herself before sending the video to her on-screen boyfriend Cory Brent.
It is a Criminal Offence
What many don’t realise is that children can be prosecuted for sending indecent images of themselves. Taking, possessing or sharing indecent images of any person under the age of 18 is a criminal offence. It matters not whether the young person consented to the pictures being taken.
In 2018, the NSPCC reported that the number of child abuse image offences recorded by the police in the UK showed that there was an offence committed every 23 minutes. I think we can confidently say that figure will have risen since that report. For our teens, sharing explicit pictures of themselves is the norm rather than the exception.
Sexting is accepted as normal in their social circles. Despite the fact that teens are clearly aware that many of these images are forwarded on to numerous other people they fail to safeguard themselves against it.
What is of concern is that most of our teens do not consider that this is a crime nor do they consider the implications of their actions.
Are You Concerned as a Parent?
If you suspect your child has taken any indecent images, possesses any indecent images or has been sharing them then they are at risk of a prosecution. Whether you suspect that is so or whether your child has been investigated by the police it is important to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity.
Our Crime team has experience in representation of youths in these circumstances, so do not hesitate to contact them for legal guidance.
Email Rachel, Head of Crime and Regulatory, or call us on 0161 969 3131.