Fenland pupils and parents warned of the dangers of ‘sexting’

Jason Wing Principal of Neale Wade Academy, March. Picture: Steve Williams.

Jason Wing Principal of Neale Wade Academy, March. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

School pupils and parents across Fenland are being given a hard-hitting warning from police on the dangers of ‘sexting’.

A message from PC Kurt Allen, who works with all Fenland schools, warns ‘robust action’ will be taken against culprits caught ‘sexting’.

His warning has been relayed to parents of pupils at the Neale-Wade Academy in March - although the school says it has not had any incidents.

Sexting - the possession, distribution and showing of sexually explicit images of young people - is a national issue and Jason Wing, Neale-Wade’s executive principal, said he was happy to pass on PC Allen’s warning.

He said: “We don’t have a problem with sexting at the Neale-Wade, but Kurt has asked us to pass on this message. He has sent it to all Fenland schools, whether any of the others have sent it out to their parents I don’t know.

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“We thought it was important to get the message out there. We work closely with the police and we thought it was the right thing to do. The message is hard hitting, but if it stops one young person from doing it then it is worthwhile.

“I think Kurt really wants parents to keep an eye on their children and to raise their awareness of the potential dangers.”

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PC Allen’s message was contained in a letter sent to all parents of Neale-Wade students this afternoon (Friday).

PC Allen is urging parents to speak to their children about the dangers of sexting and to explain that “the possession, showing and/or the distribution of an indecent image of a child (person under 18) is a crime under the Protection of Children Act 1978.

“It is important to point out that even though some may see this as a ‘joke’ the impact on the victim is huge, long lasting and extremely upsetting, it places them in real danger of sexual exploitation.

“Such is the seriousness of the offences guidance suggests a maximum prison sentence be set at 10 years on conviction.”

He warns that if police become aware of incidents ‘robust action’ will be taken including arrests and the seizure of communication devices.

Parents should contact their child’s year office if they have any concerns or want to discuss the matter.

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