Detectives in the Public Protection Unit (PPU) in West Cumbria are warning parents and family members to be more aware of images and videos which children and young persons may have stored on their mobile phones or other items of electronic equipment.
A member of the public recently contacted the police with concerns about a specific photographic image and piece of video footage that had been discovered on a child’s personal phone. They were found to be of a serious sexually indecent nature.
Officers investigated the issue and the person’s involved were strongly advised about the seriousness of retaining, possessing and sending to others those types of images. It is clear that the child did not have any understanding or thought as to the dangers of keeping such material.
A spokesperson from the Public protection Unit said: "It is becoming more common practice for young people to send out images and videos which they have received having no understanding of the implications of what they are doing and criminal offences of which they may be committing. If any image or video product is deemed to be of an indecent nature it is a criminal offence to possess and distribute to others.
“We want to encourage parents to make sure that they are aware of what is on their child’s phone or similar. Modern electronic devices have given users the ability to share information with others on a large scale. A lot of information sharing between young people is appropriate however it an offence if it is deemed indecent and we want to make sure that they are made aware of this and try and stop these images being distributed on a large scale across schools in Cumbria.”