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Detective pleads for people to ‘stop and think’ before posting revenge porn

PUBLISHED: 07:24 30 August 2020 | UPDATED: 07:24 30 August 2020

Det Insp Holly Evans, of Suffolk Constabulary  Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Det Insp Holly Evans, of Suffolk Constabulary Picture: RACHEL EDGE

RACHEL EDGE

A senior police detective has urged people thinking of posting revenge porn to “stop and think about the consequences of what you are doing”.

95 revenge porn crimes were recorded in Suffolk in the 2019/20 financial year (model used in picture). Picture: GETTY/iSTOCKPHOTO95 revenge porn crimes were recorded in Suffolk in the 2019/20 financial year (model used in picture). Picture: GETTY/iSTOCKPHOTO

Figures revealed in a Freedom of Information (FoI) request showed that between April 2019 and April 2020, Suffolk recorded 95 incidents of revenge porn - where people share revealing and explicit images of ex-partners to cause them embarrassment.

However, in 70% of those cases, no action was taken by the police - mostly due to a lack of evidence and victims not wanting to pursue charges.

Detective Inspector Holly Evans, of Suffolk police, said revenge porn cases are notoriously difficult for the police.

However, she encouraged victims to come forward.

She said: “I think people think of revenge porn quite differently to how it is.

“There’s often an element of control, which is quite pertinent in domestic situations and there is the shaming side of it, and sometimes it is just about revenge.

“It’s a really challenging crime for us to deal with.

“One of the biggest blockers we face is the shame and stigma around it.

“People often come to us, not necessarily wanting us to pursue the crime but wanting us to take the pictures down. But it isn’t that easy.”

Det Insp Evans also warned perpetrators about sending or publishing any intimate images or former partners.

“My message to those who might engage in this behaviour is I understand that they are probably hurting please stop and think about the consequences of what you are doing,” she said.

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“It is a crime, and that person trusted you in a moment of intimacy. Don’t break their trust, which can have a real negative impact on them.

“We want victims to talk to us. We will listen to you and we will do what we can to help you remove the images.”

Refuge, a charity which supports victims of domestic abuse, has launched The Naked Threat campaign in a bid to persuade the government to amend the law and make threats to share images a criminal offence in England and Wales.

Lisa King, director of communications and external affairs at Refuge, said: “While sharing sexual images or films without consent, or so-called ‘revenge porn,’ is a crime – threatening to share intimate content is not.

“We believe there is no such thing as an empty threat and the Domestic Abuse Bill, which will return to the House of Lords next month, provides the government with the perfect opportunity to act quickly and decisively.”


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