Sexting ‘now a way of life’ as girls aged 13 post intimate images

Alison McInnes is calling for a national strategy. Picture: Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament
Alison McInnes is calling for a national strategy. Picture: Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament
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A NATIONAL strategy is needed to tackle the risks arising from sexting, it has been claimed.

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokeswoman Alison McInnes has called on the Scottish Government to adopt such a strategy in the wake of a report published by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) and the Care Inspectorate which states that the phenomenon is common practice across the country, with 44 per cent of British girls aged 13-17 having sent intimate images of themselves to others.

The report also warns that sexting, defined as the posting of self-generated intimate images on social media networks, is now considered a way of life by some young people and could increase the vulnerability of young people at risk of exploitation. Ms McInnes said: “It’s a huge concern that this report has highlighted that sexting has become a common phenomenon across the country.

“Many young people may not realise the risks they face by sharing intimate images of themselves online. Many are also not aware when they are being exploited or coerced into doing something they wouldn’t normally do.

“It is also important however that both girls and boys are educated further on the dangers posed by the internet and the anonymity it affords its users.”