Police launch investigation after indecent pictures of girl, 12, are shared online by classmates

February 3, 2015 | by | 0 Comments

Police are investigating after indecent pictures of a 12-year-pupil were allegedly shared online by her classmates.

Parents claim the latest social media craze has seen pupils coaxed into sending compromising “selfies” by their schoolmates in West Lothian, Scotland.

Similar photos are understood to have been sent between pupils of three schools in the area and police confirmed that they were investigating an allegation.

They urged other victims to come forward and said they were treating the issue as a “priority” and would give specialist support to victims.

The parent of one pupil was horrified to discover that her daughter, then aged 12, had sent a picture of her cleavage to a male schoolmate.

The youngster was then invited to join a private Facebook conversation where her photo was shared with other people, alongside other compromising pictures of young girls.

The alleged victim’s mum, who asked not to be named for fear of identifying her child, said: “My daughter feels very embarrassed and shocked.

“This shouldn’t be happening. It’s across the schools in West Lothian.

“The officer I spoke to said the more people he spoke to, the more he heard about it happening.”

Indecent photos are understood to have been shared between three schools – Armadale Academy, Bathgate Academy and St Kentigan’s High in Blackburn, West Lothian.

The parent of the alleged victim said that other young girls had told her daughter they had been persuaded to send topless or nude pictures to male classmates.

She called for more robust communication between schools and parents to try to keep the children safe and added: “The parents should be made aware of this. [The schools] have known about this for months.”

Police have only received one official complaint, however officers are keen to hear from other affected youngsters.

A police spokeswoman said: “Police in West Lothian are investigating following allegations that indecent images of a 13-year-old girl were shared on social media.

“Inquiries are ongoing and we urge any other victims to come forward.

“Tackling the creation and sharing of indecent images is a priority for Police Scotland, with all complaints received thoroughly investigated.

“We provide specialist support to victims and target offenders to bring them to justice.”

A West Lothian Council spokesman added: “We take the online safety of our pupils very seriously and are currently working closely with police on this matter.

“Schools and parents both have an important role to play in helping make young people aware of the dangers of inappropriate internet communication.”

The spokesman urged parents to attend Child Exploitation and Online Protection information evenings in schools and youngsters to think carefully before posting online.

A complaint was made to police in November 2014.

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