RELATED: Students speak out against sexting
Teens are collecting nude photos of their peers on their phones and swapping the material at parties.
Central Victoria’s proactive policing unit Leading Senior Constable Vanessa Bate has urged young people not to take nude photos of themselves.
The police officer likened the practice of collecting and trading such images to swap cards used by previous generations.
“It speaks volumes about young people normalising this and thinking it is OK,” Senior Constable Bate said.
“This is offensive, and young women are much more than just a nude picture.
“They need to be respected for who they are and what they are in the community.”
Police said those taking images, and others sharing them, needed to take responsibility for their actions.
“It is illegal and they could find themselves charged,” Senior Constable Bate said.
Her comments came after reports Victorian secondary students featured on a pornographic photo-sharing website.
Senior Constable Bate said Bendigo students had not been identified, but were at risk by taking and sharing nude photographs.
Teenagers who believed the Snapchat app was a “safe” way to send images because they expired were vulnerable, she said.
“The bottom line is this: don’t send the nude pictures in the first place,” she said.
“Once you send that picture, you lose control of where it is going to end up.
“What if someone uses their phone to take a photo of the receiver’s phone?
“You know the ‘send’ button we have on all of our devices? Erase that word from your mind and replace it with ‘publish’.”