Tuesday 23 July 2019

Police call on youngsters to stop sexting after explosion of cases

Dutch police are youngsters to stop sending risque photos of themselves to others, following an ‘explosion’ of abuse this year, the AD reports.

Reports of photos being placed online or used for blackmail have been coming in at the rate of three a day this year, police told the paper on Tuesday.

Earlier warnings to confine the practice to ‘a trusted environment’ and anonymising the picture by not showing a face, have now been slated by police as insufficient.

In some cases, each photo is analysed ‘to the bone’ on so-called ‘exposing’ sites which will then out a victim by publishing their personal data.

Blackmailers trying to force their their victims into sending more photos or paying money are another serious issue, the paper said. Many victims develop psychological problems and some even contemplate suicide.

The police say minors who put nude photos on the net often have no idea of the consequences. They could, for example, be prosecuted for possessing or disseminating child pornography.

Bureau Halt, which deals with young offenders, is conducting a pilot project in which 12 to 18-year-olds are confronted with the consequences of their actions. Police are also setting up special information programmes for schools.

In a 2017 poll among 16 and 17 year olds, one in 15 youngsters admitted to having sent a sexy picture of themselves to someone. Four in 10 said they had been asked to post a sexy picture on social media. One in seven had obliged, with girls in the majority.

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