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Pupils warned of online images danger

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By Fiona Reid
Front
Pupils warned of online images danger

A WORRYING trend seeing people as young as 12-years-old sharing ‘indecent’ images on social media has led to police intervention in local schools.

Police Scotland have been busy visiting schools in Annandale to give talks and highlight to parents the possible dangers of social media apps like Snapchat.

PC John Cowan, based at Lockerbie and Moffat, said: “This behaviour is common practice among some school age children and is a nationwide and international problem.

“There is a lack of understanding about the possible consequences by the children and some are persuaded under duress to take part.

“Photos shared between boyfriend and girlfriend can be sent on and shared again and again, potentially being seen all over the world.

“It is a criminal offence to take or possess an indecent picture of a child, whether that be on a phone, computer or tablet.”

He added:”We are encouraging parents to please take an active role in monitoring their child’s social media use and who they are communicating with.

“These social media sites are also used by offenders who would seek to target vulnerable children and groom them for sexual exploitation.

“Police are not seeking to stop young people using social media, but to help educate them on how to use them safely and responsibly.”

PC Cowan is welcoming parents with concerns to get in touch with the Lockerbie Community Policing Team for advice or tips on staying safe online.

Meanwhile local police have been attending assemblies at schools, while schools have been issuing letters warning of the dangers of social media misuse.

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