Criminal Act

It is a criminal offence to take, make, distribute (send), upload and/or possess any indecent image of a child under 18 (including those taken / possessed by a child under 18)

All usage of images as detailed above are criminal offences and if deemed as ‘experimental’ then Social Services, Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub and Swim England should be notified.

If act is deemed as ‘aggravated’ then it must be reported to the police.


If concern relates to a child aged 13 or above who has voluntarily taken an indecent image of themselves, then shared this, this could be deemed as experimental (especially for teenagers in a relationship):

  • Parents to be informed
  • Welfare Officer to be informed
  • Refer to the Swim England Safeguarding Team, Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub and Social Services
  • Might still be done without parental consent


This term may be applied to any other situation not detailed above, such as incidents with adult involvement, abuse or criminal behaviour by under 18’s such as sexual abuse, extortion or threats.
Also, includes the creation, showing or sharing of images without the knowledge or against the will of the young individual involved.

Aggravating factors to be considered:

  • The age of the child
  • Circulation of the images to peers
  • The coercion or exploitation of a child by use of rewards or threats to send/share image
  • The number of victims or repeat behaviour
  • The wording or language which accompanies the image
  • The explicit or depraved nature of images beyond the ‘norm’
  • Any other background info that may increase the risk of harm

Action To Take

Matter to be referred to Police, Social Services, MASH Team and the Swim England Safeguarding Team

If Incident just happened

Retain and secure device and follow reporting procedure

Never view or show image to another

Ideally always two adults present