Capital Investigates: Sexting

A Capital investigation has found that children as young as 11 are messaging explicit photos to each other in the East Midlands.

The research Capital's done in Nottingham, Leicester and Derby has also found 55% of adults have sent a SEXT, with 6% having a bad experience.

Of the people we surveyed in Nottingham, Derby and Leicester, a lot of people told us they know friends who've had photos sent around school or college.

Capital Investigates Sexting: Anna Tyler reports

Bad experiences

This woman in Derby told Capital that her ex sent a photo of her to classmates when she was at school and her parents had to be told:

'It was just underwear for myself but I know other girls send less clothing than I did.

'For your parents to come in to see photos of you in your underwear is not exactly the nicest situation in the world.

'It was quite embarrassing, I lost quite a lot of respect for myself for quite a while, it took a while to build it back up.'

Sexting: Derby woman tells Capital HOW it went wrong

Sexting: Your experiences in the East Midlands


Image could be seen by thousands

Child protection officials say children are putting themselves in danger sending suggestive photos to each other because you can never guarantee where they're going to end up.

Natalie Walter is from exploitation charity, Safe and Sound, in Derby:

'They think the photo could be going to a boyfriend or friend but then that person could distrubute them far wider than that, so thousands of people could end up seeing that image.'


How safe are your photos?
Data experts have told Capital that if hackers really want to get hold of your photos, they probably can because they're so determined.

Only last week celebrities, like actress Jennifer Lawrence, had intimate photos leaked online.

Professor John Walker is a cyber forensics expert at Nottingham Trent Uni:

'If someone was to go round intentionally looking for illicit material of that nature, first of all I'd recommend they don't, because if they get caught with it they're going to get into serious trouble.

'That's where the smart, darker people work it out for themselves, they have their own closed dark nets and encrypted systems they can go to, they know where to get it.'

Sexting: Trent Uni Prof on protecting yourself

Peer pressure & celebrities party to blame
Capital's been told there are four main reasons children and teenagers are sexting; peer pressure, copying celebrities, trying to impress a boyfriend or girlfriend and easy access to smart phones.

Police and council officials told our investigation they are educating children about the dangers of sending suggestive images to each other, but Lorna Nailor from Nottinghamshire County Council says it can be tricky because friends are encouraging each other:

'We all know to warn children about strangers and not to talk to people they don't know but these are actually people the kids know!

'They are in their friendship group and these friends asking for these things [photos].'

Detective Inspector Rich Hyam, from Leicestershire Police, says people genuinely do it because they think eveyone is but he says, they're not!:

'They do it to fit in with their friends because they've got a boyfriend and they think it's the norm.

'They see film stars or actresses involved in this sort of thing and they think it's the norm.

'They think if they did it they think they're part of the 'in crowd' but they're not.'

Sext Capital East Midlands