A WARNING has been sent out to parents about pupils being made victims to the online practice of ‘sexting.’

Basingstoke Neighbourhood Policing Team distributed a letter to all secondary schools in the area warning parents about their children’s use of social media.

Officers have become aware that platforms such as Snapchat have been used by youngsters in the Basingstoke area to send indecent images of themselves or others and other materials designed to cause embarrassment to people.

The neighbourhood policing team has warned that anyone caught with an indecent image of someone under the age of 18 on any electronic device, sharing any such image or making any such image is a criminal offence.

The letter to parents read: “Should any person be convicted of this they would hold a criminal record for possessing/taking/distributing indecent images of children.

“They may be required to sign the Sex Offenders Register as a result of this and this can have an impact on their employment opportunities in the future.”

Officers are urging parents to discuss the subject sensitively with their children to make them aware of the severity of those potential actions and what offences they could possibly be committing.

The constabulary team also said that these types of images can be shared around of groups and is telling parents to make sure their children “remove themselves from it and delete any images they may have received or stored.”

Speaking this week, PC Rebecca Mason, from Basingstoke Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “It’s so important we keep reminding young people of the dangers of so-called sexting.

“The concerns and consequences over these types of pictures are not always understood or reported by children and young people.

“We want young people to have the knowledge to make informed, positive choices to avoid themselves and their friends becoming involved in this kind of behaviour, which can have life-changing and criminal consequences.”

If anyone’s child has been affected by these issues or related incidents, advice and support for parents and children can be found by going to childline.org.uk/info-advice/bullying-abuse-safety/online-mobilesafety/sexting.