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Sexting (1501/15)


The number of children under the age of 18 who have been investigated in the last two years by your force for “sexting” activities – that is sending or sharing explicit or naked pictures of themselves on social media or text messaging services to others. Please provide figures for the most recent 12-year periods available.

In each case please state:

  1. The age of the child at the time of the offence and their gender
  2. The outcome, ie. no further action, police caution, charged, ongoing
  3. The medium used to send explicit content (for example: text message, Twitter, Facebook)
  4. Whether the child who sent the material was added to the sex offenders’s register.
  5. If possible please include the age of the recipient of the explicit material as well as the sender.

I am aware that you will not record specific offences under the category “sexting”.

I believe the most appropriate offences to search within is distributing or publishing an indecent image(s) of a child under s1 of the Protection of Children Act, 1978. It would then require a search within those offences or reported offences carried out by children to isolate those cases in which a child sent an image of themselves to another person.


Please find our response attached. I have included the previous answers from request 1432/15. Please note that when I have reviewed the data, one of the clear up codes was omitted. This has been rectified in this response. The age and gender of the victims has been included; however, please note that in some cases, a victim was not recorded. In an email you asked me to clarify what I meant by the term ‘victim’. When an offence occurs, the people involved are recorded under a number of role types in our crimes database. In the first and second question, data was provided for suspects/defendants. For the fifth question, the data from the victim role type has been provided.

In addition to this, West Midlands Police can neither confirm nor deny that it holds any other information relevant to this request as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply by virtue of the following exemption:

Section 23(5) Information supplied by, or concerning, certain Security Bodies

Section 23 is a class based absolute exemption and there is no requirement to consider the public interest in this case.

Confirming or denying the existence of whether any other information is held would contravene the constrictions laid out within Section 23 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in that this stipulates a generic bar on disclosure of any information applied by, or concerning, certain Security Bodies.