Not all under-18 sexting cases investigated
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.