Not all un­der-18 sex­ting cases in­ves­ti­gated

South Wales Evening Post - - LETTERS -

HUN­DREDS of sus­pects in un­der­age sex­ting cases have not been in­ves­ti­gated by po­lice after it was deemed not to be in the pub­lic in­ter­est.

More than 250 young peo­ple have not been probed by po­lice in the past three years after mak­ing or send­ing il­le­gal pho­tos, re­sults from a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­quest sug­gest.

Un­der UK law, it is il­le­gal to make, dis­trib­ute, pos­sess or show a sex­ual im­age of any­one un­der 18. This in­cludes images sent be­tween un­der-18s within a con­sen­sual re­la­tion­ship. But not all cases re­ported to po­lice will end in court, due to the “sen­si­tive” na­ture of the cir­cum­stances in­volved.

Across South Wales, 176 ju­ve­niles were not in­ves­ti­gated in con­sen­sual sex­ting cases be­tween 2016 and 2018 after it was deemed not to be in the pub­lic in­ter­est, our in­for­ma­tion re­quest re­vealed. Four re­ceived a cau­tion dur­ing the same pe­riod and 19 ju­ve­niles were charged.

Dyfed-powys Po­lice said they were un­able to pro­vide the rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion due to the time scale re­quired to re­trieve the in­for­ma­tion.

Re­spond­ing to the fig­ures, a spokesman for South Wales Po­lice warned against view­ing sex­ting as a “harm­less teenage be­hav­iour”.

He said: “Where of­fences are iden­ti­fied, South Wales Po­lice seeks to deal in a pro­por­tion­ate man­ner, and a range of out­comes utilised to en­sure chil­dren are not un­nec­es­sar­ily drawn into the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem.”

You can get fur­ther ad­vice about sex­ting from Child­line on 0800 1111.

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