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Sexting law

Sexting is the taking and sending of indecent images. Sexting is when a person takes an indecent image of themselves and sends it to a friend, spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend via their mobile phone.

Once an image has been taken and sent, the sender has no control over what happens to that image and it could be sent to anyone, for example their employer, friends, family or even a paedophile.

The law on sexting

Anyone who has or sends indecent images of someone under the age of 18 is breaking the law. Both having and distributing images of this nature is an offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 . Encouraging someone to take or send 'sexts' can also be illegal.

As well as the legal consequences, there are other issues to 'sexting' including the emotional and reputational damage this can cause. Think before you take a picture; would you be happy for your parents, colleagues, teacher, friends, family or local police officer to see it?

Report sexting

If you are concerned someone is sending your child indecent images, report it online to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) or call 101.

Only call 999 if you believe there is an immediate danger to someone.

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