Northumbria Police: Rise in reporting of revenge porn is due to better legislation

Northumbria Police: Rise in reporting of revenge porn is due to better legislation

So far in 2019, there have been 110 reported cases of revenge porn recorded by Northumbria Police.

The largest concentration of these comes in the 20-29 age range, with 47 reported cases.

“Revenge porn” is categorised by the Home Office as “disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress”. The offence was introduced in 2015 and carries a maximum sentence of two years. 

In July 2018, courts were provided with new instructions for dealing with crimes of this nature. The new guidelines are believed to be more definitive than those previously used, providing more clarity as to what action constitutes as revenge porn, and how the courts should deal with it. The new guidelines list factors that indicate a higher level of culpability, making it more likely for perpetrators to face punishment at the higher end of the scale.

Detective Chief Inspector Lisa Laverick said that the legislation has been effective, with the number of reports of revenge porn rising upon its introduction. This would suggest that the public feels a greater level of trust in the police force to effectively deal with crimes of this nature.

DCI Laverick said: “Cases of this nature can be extremely upsetting for victims.

“We welcome an increase in reports of ‘revenge porn’, or any malicious communication, as we believe that suggests there is more of an awareness of this being a criminal offence and people feel more confident to report it.

“Education is key and I can’t stress enough the importance of teaching children about personal safety and responsibility when it comes to social sharing.”

Whilst men are occasionally victims of this type of crime, the statistics suggest that women are at a much higher risk of being victimised by revenge porn. In fact, in 86 of the 110 reported cases of revenge porn in 2019, women were the victims.

We reached out to several women’s groups for a statement on this, but received no response.

Christopher Cruddace

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.