09
Fri, Dec

Sexting boy's naked selfie recorded as crime by police

A boy who sent a naked photograph of himself to a girl at school has had the crime of making and distributing indecent images recorded against him by police, the BBC has learnt.The boy, aged 14, who was not formally arrested or charged, but could have his details stored for at least 10 years.

The information could also be disclosed to future employers, his mother said.

Police said three children were named in a crime report, but it was not in the public interest to prosecute.

The Criminal Bar Association said the case highlighted the dangers of needlessly criminalising children.

The schoolboy, who lives in the north of England, told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme he took the naked photo of himself in his own bedroom.

He then sent it to a girl from his school using Snapchat - an app which deletes direct messages within 10 seconds.

However, before the image disappeared, the girl saved it on her own phone and it was then sent to other pupils at the school.

'Humiliated'

The matter was brought to the attention of a police officer based at the school and it has now been officially recorded as a crime.

However, his mother was told her son's details - along with those of the girl involved and another teenager - had been added to a police intelligence database and could be stored for at least 10 years.

She said the school police officer said the incident could be flagged up in a DBS check (formerly CRB) if her son ever wanted to get a certain jobs - including one working with children.

She told the Today programme her son had been "humiliated", saying he was "at best naive" and at worst was just being "a teenager".

Many children at the school now take part in so-called "sexting" as a form of "flirting", she said.

The boy, who has asked to remain anonymous, said he felt "embarrassed and a bit intimidated" by the way the incident had been dealt with by police and his school.

He said he knew some people at the school still had the image.

Asked about the consequences of the incident, he added: "It is just annoying really.

"Something that I did when I was 14 that could reflect badly in the future."