Skip to main content

Youth produced sexual imagery

Youth produced sexual imagery

It is unlawful for a person under the age of 18 to create, possess and/or share sexual imagery of themselves with a peer under the age of 18 or adult over 18.

The UK has a strict prohibition on the taking, making, circulation, and possession with a view to distribution of any indecent photograph or pseudo photograph of a child and such offences carry a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment. The simple possession of indecent photographs or pseudo photographs of children an offence and carries a maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment. Taking, making, sharing and possessing indecent images and pseudo-photographs of people under 18 is illegal. A pseudo-photograph is an image made by computer-graphics or otherwise which appears to be a photograph.

This can include:

• Photos

• Videos

• Tracings and derivatives of a photograph

• Data that can be converted into a photograph

• ‘Making’ can include

• Opening an attachment to an email containing an image

• Downloading an image from a website onto a computer screen

• Storing an image in a directory on a computer

• Accessing a website in which images appeared by way of an automatic “pop up” mechanism
page 5 of 7

• ‘Sharing’ includes sending on an email, offering on a file sharing platform, uploading to a site that other
people have access to, and possessing with a view to distribute.

If you suspect that a young person is being coerced, abused or exploited you should advise them that you have to pass this information on. You must take this action, even in circumstances where the young person is reluctant to co-operate with this course of action or specifically asks you not to. You should follow the procedures laid down on the Young People First Code of Practice (Yellow Card).