Law on Sexting in England, Wales, NI

Sexting in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Sexting in England, Wales, NI is controlled by different law to that in Scotland. Except for the Communications Act 2003 which applies across the UK, sexting would be prosecuted under different legislation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Having or collecting sexting photos or videos on phone or computer

If your child has any indecent images or videos of somebody who is under 18 years, he would technically be in possession of child pornography even if they are the same age. This is against section 160 of Criminal Justice Act 1988 and section 1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978. The Crown Prosecution Services will only proceed to trial in cases where they consider that it is in the public interest to do so. They would take int account the ages and the nature of the relationship of the parties involve.

Sending sexting photos or videos

If your child is under 18 years and he or she sends, uploads or forwards indecent images or videos to friends or boyfriends/girlfriends, this would also breach section 1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978. Even if they are photos of him or herself, such behaviour technically constitutes ‘distributing’ child pornography.

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