MSP to call on Scottish Government for response to rise in sexting

Ms Martin has campaigned around online safety since earlier this year when the case of an 11-year-old girl in the North-East was revealed.
Ms Martin has campaigned around online safety since earlier this year when the case of an 11-year-old girl in the North-East was revealed.

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin will call on the Scottish Government for a response on the increase in incidents recorded involving young people and sexting.

The move comes after months of campaigning on the issue of safety online amid the increase in cases of sexting and revenge porn.

Ms Martin has campaigned around online safety since earlier this year when the case of an 11-year-old girl in the North-East was revealed.

The child’s mother raised the alarm over social media after some of the child’s images were revealed online by teenage boys.

Ms Martin will ask during First Ministers Questions on Thursday what the response is to the number of reported cases involving a child committing a sexual offence against another having increased by a third over the last four years.

The question comes after new figures revealed the number of children reported for sexual offences has risen by 21% in four years.

The findings also said there was a 34% rise in the number of children being reported as the perpetrators of sexual offences where the victim was another child.

And sexting had been noted as one of the reasons for the increase.

The Solicitor General has said “too many” children are coming to the attention of the police and the prosecution service in relation to sexual offending.

Commenting, Ms Martin said: “It is clear that incidents of sexting are on the increase as well as incidents of revenge porn.

“There is real concern that this is becoming the norm amongst teenagers and the figures from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service tie in with what we’re being told about these increasing trends.

“I’ve been working closely with the MSYPs in my area as well as my local authority and Police Scotland to address the issues around this type of abuse.

“The increase in figures are deeply concerning and could be only the tip of the iceberg unless we find a way to educate young people of the real, lasting dangers of sexting and misuse of social media.”