General Article Children under the age of 14 are being arrested for ‘sexting’ in police postcode lottery

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Exclusive: Data shared with i reveals huge inconsistency in the application of guidance designed to stop children being criminalised.

By Will Hazell

Teenagers are still being criminalised for ‘sexting’ despite police guidance designed to stop young people ending up with a criminal record, i can reveal.

Analysis of police data by academics from the University of Suffolk - shared with i - shows there is a ‘postcode lottery’ in how police forces deal with sexting, with children under the age of 14 continuing to be arrested.

Under the 1978 Protection of Children Act, the generation or distribution of indecent images of children is illegal.

However, the legislation could not have predicted the rise in young people sending indecent photos of themselves to peers with the advent of smartphones.

To address the increasing number of children being arrested for sexting, in December 2016 the College of Policing introd

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