Sexting teens risk charges
UNDERAGE teens tempted to engage in the sexting trend are being warned they are risking child pornography charges by sending naked images of themselves to others.
The warning comes after an 18-year-old Clifton man and his girlfriend allegedly coerced a number of children as young as 13 into sending explicit photos of themselves.
Eight children were dealt with under the Justice Act in relation to sending photos of themselves.
Sexting is the act of sending naked photos of yourself via mobile phone or the internet and is a growing trend among teenagers and young adults.
Warwick police officer in charge Stewart Day said it was important for people to understand sending naked photos of themselves or anyone else while underage was a crime.
"No one is allowed to be in possession of child pornography and if you are a juvenile and sending pictures of yourself you are distributing child pornography," he said.
Anybody who receives a naked photo of a juvenile is also committing an offence.
Snr Sgt Day said the trend is becoming increasingly popular and said many were not even aware they were committing an offence.
"It is not overly common but it's certainly an increasing phenomenon as the popularity of social media increases."
He also urged parents to engage with teenagers and explain the risks and consequences of such behaviour.
"Parents need to be mindful of what their children are doing and speak with their children and tell them this is not a desirable thing for them to be doing," he said.
Snr Sgt Day said people often sent the photo under the assumption that only one other person sees the image, however it can easily escalate out of control.
"Sometimes, when these photos are sent, they are between two people who are in a relationship and it stays between the two of them at that time.
"When the relationship sours, the photos can be seen by a lot more people than the one it was sent to."
The Clifton man is facing a number of child sex charges and he and his girlfriend are due to appear in Warwick Magistrates Court next week.
Police will allege the duo committed the offences throughout the Warwick district between March and September this year.