Few prosecutions in revenge porn cases

Revenge porn
Revenge porn
Share this article

No further action was taken in more than half of all revenge porn cases investigated by Lancashire Police, it can be revealed.

Officers have received 220 reports of sexually explicit pictures being posted online without consent since it became a criminal act two years ago.

But figures obtained show 110 were closed by officers despite suspects being identified in the majority of cases, mainly due to what police called ‘evidential difficulties’.

Just 12 people were charged, while a total of 19 cautions, community resolutions, and youth cautions were given.

In a statement, the force said it was taking revenge porn ‘more seriously than ever’.

It said: “The law is quite clear on so-called ‘revenge porn’ and ‘sexting’ and police and the criminal justice system are taking both more seriously than ever in a bid to try to stop people being exploited in this way.

“Anybody who believes sexual images of themselves have been shared or published without their permission is urged to contact police on 101.”

The reason so many cases were closed ‘with no further action’ was mainly down to problems securing evidence, the figures obtained by the Lancaster Guardian showed.

Officers commonly had difficulty getting victims to cooperate, despite identifying a suspect, though they did say 17 cases were not in the public interest to pursue through the courts. A total of 50 cases were closed because there were no leads to follow, or at officers’ discretion.

Around two years ago, the Lancaster Guardian revealed how just one person had faced justice under the new law – a 
caution – with some of the reported victims aged as young as 14. Global red tape, shady websites hosted outside the UK, and a lack of police funding was blamed for the lack of prosecutions, which was labelled ‘worrying and alarming’ by one revenge porn victim.