A short video, Keep It In Your Pants, aimed at teens has been released by Derby City Council, highlighting the dangers of sexting.

It is illegal to possess, take or distribute sexual images of someone who is under 18, including of yourself, but despite this, over 4,000 cases have been reported in England and Wales since 2013 where children have taken explicit pictures of themselves and sent them to others.

The film was made with the University of Derby Students’ Union, and addresses this heavy subject in light-hearted way.

The Community Safety team said:

“Sexting is an increasing issue for young people. It can be done for a number of reasons – a lot of the time it’s seen as part of the natural progression of a relationship; as a joke; and often as a result of peer pressure.

“What young people really need to understand is that as soon as their picture or message is sent it is no longer in the control of the sender. The ability to screenshot on apps like Snapchat means that the image can be sent on, which can easily lead to blackmail and cyber bullying.

“We always advise young people that the images you post or send out should be ones that you would be comfortable for your Mum, Dad and Grandparents to see!”

Sexting may only reveal the tip of the iceberg in terms of sexual pressures, but they do make such pressures visible, available for discussion and therefore potentially open to resolution; something that can only be overcome through education – on what hitting send really means, as well what is and is not lawful.

“This video is great – it’s done in a bit of a comical way, but also gets across this heavy message.

“New technologies are great in allowing people to express themselves, and find their identities, but it can also bring new pressures, that older generations might not understand.

“As parents, carers, educators and corporate parents, we have our part to play – it’s down to us to develop an understanding of the sexual pressures faced by young people, and use resources, like this short film, to start open and honest discussions with our young people.”

For more internet safety resources, visit Get Safe Online.

If you have any concerns about a young person:

  • Children can talk to a ChildLine counsellor 24 hours a day on 0800 11 11 or in an online chat
  • Parents or carers concerned their child is being contacted by adults as a result of having shared sexual imagery should report it to the NCA or Ceop
  • Parents and carers can contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000; email help@nspcc.org.uk; text 88858; or call the Online Safety Helpline on 0808 800 5002