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Police: “Thousands Of Children Are Sending Out Explicit Pictures Of Themselves”

The British authorities are investigating thousands of children, including a boy aged five for sexting.

According to BBC, nearly 400 children under the age of 12 have been spoken to by police in the last three years in England and Wales.

Figures obtained by the BBC show more than 4,000 cases since 2013 where children have taken explicit pictures of themselves and sent them to others.

In the report, a five-year-old, from County Durham, was spoken to by officers of Durham Constabulary last year. He is the youngest person to be investigated for sexting by police forces in England and Wales.

The force’s DCI Steve Thubron said sexting issues were dealt with on a case by case basis, with a focus on safeguarding children. He said incidents were recorded in line with national crime recording standards.

“We deal with incidents proportionately and obviously do not criminalise children,” he said.

“We have worked with other agencies to provide advice and guidance to both schoolteachers and young people.

“We would urge any children who are worried to speak with a trusted adult or call 101.”

According to him, the most common age of those involved in sexting in England and Wales are between 13 or 14.

A 10-year-old boy only just at the age of criminal responsibility is sais to have cautioned by Northumbria Police for sexting. The boy sent a sexual image of himself to an 11-year-old child using Oovoo, a free social media video and image sharing app.

Greater Manchester Police in their report indicated that they have recorded the highest number of child sexters with 695 cases looked into, including four seven-year-olds and four eight-year-olds.

Kerry Smith of Plan International UK, which works for children’s rights, told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme that “Girls are being pressured – sexting is a gendered issue – more girls are being asked to share.

“There are double standards. When they do (share), the girls are shamed, not the boys who are holding the phones or the pictures or asking for them.”

According to her, children need to be educated on the issue of sexting.

“People know there’s an issue. They want that knowledge shared with their children and we’ve got to make sure that’s what’s happening in our schools,” she said.

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