Knowsley Schoolchildren Bullied over Explicit Photos
Merseyside Police have warned parents in Knowsley of bullying incidents involving posting explicit pictures online.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Cox told parents and guardians that some students were using Facebook and Instagram accounts “with no other objective than to cause hurt and distress” by posting sexual photos of other children and naming them.
Students at Knowsley Park Centre for Learning received the letter, addressed to parents and guardians, on Tuesday 3 February, and other schools in the borough are expected to receive the same.
DCI Cox called the method “cruel,” saying that it caused “undue stress” to its victims and their friends and families.
He asked parents to discuss the issue with their children, explaining the dangers of using the internet to share explicit photos, and taking a “positive approach” to monitoring their children’s social media activity, including on PCs, mobile devices and game consoles.
“I want to make it clear that should any criminal offences be identified, then those suspected will be criminally interviewed by detectives,” DCI Cox said, saying that the police investigation would lead to “positive action against those responsible.”
Detective Sergeant Cat Walsh made it clear that the investigation related to “a small number of incidents,” but in a media statement advised young people never to send “any images of yourself which are explicit or your feel in any way uncomfortable about.
“Even if you text images to someone you think you can trust, those pictures can ended up being posted online, and once they are on the internet they can be very hard to remove.
“If you are concerned about anything you are being asked to do, whether by an adult or another young person, confide in an adult that you trust.”
Knowsley Council advise concerned parents to contact their children’s schools directly for support, as the council provides schools with guidance on policies and training for staff and governors.
Dedicated schools officers are also available to speak to parents and children. Phone Merseyside Police in Knowsley on 0151 777 6204 for more information.
Anyone who has information about a crime, including bullying through sharing sexual photos of minors online, can report anonymously through Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.