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Sexting and the law

'Sexting' or sending 'sext messages' is where nude and/or sexual images are taken on a mobile phone, often by young people and their friends. 

This is a crime if the photo includes a person under 18 years of age. Sexting is already leading to young people being charged by police with child pornography offences. 

Young people need to think very carefully about the consequences of taking or sending pictures of friends on mobile phones, especially if they are not fully dressed and even if they agree. It could damage future career prospects or relationships.

Sexting offenders could also be charged with possessing child pornography, and/or publishing or transmitting child pornography if:

  • downloading pornography showing people under 18
  • putting a pornographic photo or video on the internet, or phone, 
  • printing a photo, or emailing or texting it to a friend.


Further information can be obtained from in the booklet Am I Old Enough