cruse associates news, Police warn of dangers of digital technology after teens arrested for distributing explicit photograph
Victoria Police are warning parents and children about the dangers of sexting after four teenagers were arrested for distributing an explicit image at a school in Melbourne's western suburbs.
Police say two students and two former students allegedly sent the image of a female student to friends and fellow students.
The victim believed the image no longer existed when it was brought to her attention in May.
Three 17-year-old boys and a 16-year-old girl were arrested and interviewed last month for knowingly communicating a private activity.
No charges have yet been laid and the teens have been released.
As a result of the investigation, police have uncovered two more incidents involving explicit photograph sharing involving 14-year-olds.
Police expect to make more arrests in those cases.
Detective Senior Constable Steve Oakley says one of the girls involved was shocked her image resurfaced a year after it was taken.
"I don't think there was that foresight as to where the image could end up," he said.
"They're also using applications where you can send a file or an image between two parties and they were under the impression the image would disappear after a certain amount of time, which isn't the case."
He says young people who text their image or sexual references do not consider the longer-term consequences when that image is outside their control.
"It is important to talk to your child about the appropriate use of technology," he said.
"It's really about creating an environment where you and your child feel safe and secure using electronic devices connected to the internet."