Embargoed until 00.01hrs,
Tue 8 February - UK national centre for child protection warns about
the risk of "sexting"
before you send" is the message from the Child
Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre - the
UK's national centre for protecting children – as it
marks EU Safer Internet Day 2011 to talk about the dangers young
people face when sending indecent images of themselves to each
other, often called 'sexting'.
This is in response to increasing evidence that such images are
being shared with wider groups of friends. Research from
Beatbullying highlighted that 38% of 11-17 year olds have received
a sexually explicit or distressing text or email, with 70%
admitting they knew the sender. Young people often do not realise
that by digitally sharing such images, they may lose control and
may never really know where it ends up. In some extreme cases,
CEOP has found these in the collection of child sex offenders and
To support this message and Safer Internet Day, which falls
on Tuesday 8 February, CEOP has launched a brand new resource
called "Exposed"; a ten minute film aimed at
11-16 year olds, encouraging them to think about their actions and
how these may affect others and their lives in future. Together
with lessons plans and accompanying activities, the film has been
produced in consultation with leading charities and education
practitioners and is available free of charge at www.thinkuknow.co.uk/teachers.
Peter Davies, Chief Executive of the CEOP Centre says:
"We know that young people are increasingly using
technology not only to stay in touch, but to explore their
sexuality and to push the boundaries in what they send and to whom
they send it. It is now so easy to send pictures instantly via
emails and texts that we are seeing instances of boys or girls
sending sexual images of themselves to others without considering
the consequences. They often find out later that the image has
been passed on to many others and as a result they can be the
victims of bullying or harassment.
"In some rare instances we have seen these images
end up in the collections of offenders. It is important that we
look to raise awareness of this risk by launching new resources
into our established education programme Thinkuknow so that young
people can make the right choices".
Minister for Crime Prevention James Brokenshire said:
"Child protection will always be an absolute
priority for Government and CEOP continues to play a crucial role
in ensuring children are safeguarded.
"This is a worrying trend. We should encourage young
people to use technology but it's really important that
they are made aware of the dangers involved too.
"I welcome this new campaign which will help to
raise awareness of the risks and educate young people about
staying safe online."
Charlotte Aynsley, Beatbullying Director of Practice
continues: "Beatbullying is extremely proud of our long
standing partnership with CEOP. It is vital we are able to work
together in such a capacity and continue to produce useful tools
to help highlight child safety online."
"Early intervention needs to be part of the solution
if we are to educate our young people, teachers and families about
the consequences of their actions and how to keep our children and
young people safe online as well as offline."
CEOP are also council members of the government's UK
Council For Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) and will be supporting
the launch of new good practice guidance for moderation, social
networking, search, chat and instant messaging services -
available at www.education.gov.uk/ukccis
- and will continue to endorse the work of the UK Safer Internet
Centre which is formed of Childnet, the South West Grid for
Learning, and the IWF. Visit www.saferinternet.org.uk
for more information.
CEOP will also be announcing the winner of this
year's 'My Life Online' competition,
which has been running on its Thinkuknow website since December
On the work of UKCCIS and wider collaboration, Peter Davies
emphasised the need for partnership:
"The real value of UKCCIS from our point of view is
providing that mechanism and forum for ensuring collaboration from
all interested sectors. This is fundamental to making children
safe today. No matter what sector or position we represent, I
truly believe that only by working together can we collectively
make a real difference in making the internet safer today and into
the future. That is why we as always remain fully committed to the
principles of this vital Council".
Notes to editors
A promo film of 'Exposed' can be viewed by
clicking on the following link:
For more information or to bid for an interview, please
contact the CEOP press office on 0870 000 3434.
The organisations who were involved in the development of the
The Metropolitan Police Service
The University of Plymouth
London Grid for Learning
Yorkshire & Humber
Grid for Learning
Avon & Somerset Police
Training Development Agency (TDA)
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre
works in both the online and offline environments to protect
children from sexual exploitation. Full information on all areas
of work as well as online safety messages and access to online
reporting can be found at www.ceop.police.uk.
Thinkuknow is CEOP's education initiative aimed at
empowering young people through information and education. Through
an extensive range of dynamic resources, young people are equipped
with the knowledge to identify the risks posed to them online and
given proactive responses to reduce these risks. There are
resources available for young people aged 4016 years, parents and
carers and professionals who work with young people. All
Thinkuknow resources are free of charge. All CEOP education
resources are created using the latest intelligence and case
studies from the CEOP intelligence and operations faculties, as
well as consultation with CEOP's multi-agency Education
Advisory Board and Youth Advisory Panel. Many of the resources
have been developed with lesson plans which map to the National
Curriculum. These are also available with guidance notes for
professionals outside of the classroom.
For more, information
The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) is a
coalition of government, industry and charities helping children
and young people to stay safe online. It provided the internet
safety strategy; 'Click Clever Click Safe'.
It aims to create a safer online environment; give everybody
the knowledge, understanding and skills to help children and young
people stay safe online; and inspire safe and responsible use and behaviour
CHILD ABUSE IMAGES, NOT 'CHILD
Use of the phrase 'child
pornography' actually benefits child sex abusers:
- It indicates legitimacy and compliance on the part of the
victim and therefore legality on the part of the abuser
conjures up images of children posing in
'provocative' positions, rather than suffering
Every photograph captures an actual situation where a child
has been abused. This is not pornography.
Phone: For enquiries please contact the issuing dept