High Peak officers help create film highlighting the dangers of ‘sexting’

Stockport College Principle Simon Andrews, police volunteer Len Howarth and Section Inspector Barry Doyle

Stockport College Principle Simon Andrews, police volunteer Len Howarth and Section Inspector Barry Doyle

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A film aimed at highlighting the dangers of ‘sexting’ has had its first screening at an official premiere in Stockport.

The feature film, titled Betrayal, saw officers from the Glossop and Hadfield beats teaming up with students at Stockport College to produce, direct and star in the educational drama.

Betrayal follows the lives of a young couple who find themselves in an unfortunate situation after sharing illicit images over text message and social media.

Section Inspector Barry Doyle, who oversees policing in Buxton North, said: “Section 45 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 states that it is an offence to take, distribute, show or possess indecent images of a person below the age of 18.

“As social media expands at an alarming rate young people are either criminalising themselves, becoming the victims of crime or quite often both. They are unwittingly committing crime and they are also making themselves extremely vulnerable to exploitation.

“Children and young people don’t realise that what they are doing is illegal and that once the images are out there they will never go away. “They don’t realise that in certain circumstances they could be prosecuted and placed on the sex offenders register.

“Frequently this leads to young people self-harming and in extreme cases, taking their own lives.

“This is an issue not just for the police but for many other agencies we work alongside.

“I really believe that we can help to make a difference with this film. The vital bit now is delivering this to schools and colleges in Glossop, with the hope of rolling this out in Derbyshire and Greater Manchester.”

For information and support around sexting, call ChildLine on 0800 1111 or visit the website at www.childline.org.uk/Explore/OnlineSafety/Pages/Sexting.aspx.