Police investigate Snapchat account accused of sharing naked pictures of 13-year-old Blackpool girl
A Snapchat account linked to the resort is accused of sharing naked pictures of a 13-year-old girl from South Shore.
She’s not thought to be the only victim – with parents and teachers reacting with shock and horror.
A Snapchat account which urges schoolchildren across Blackpool to embarrass each other is being investigated by police after allegedly posting pictures of a 13-year-old girl getting changed.
The group, which The Gazette is not naming, is said to encourage youngsters in Blackpool to out-do each other by sending in shots of their compromised pals – such as girls wearing no make-up. But it was accused of veering into the illegal after images of the girl in a state of undress – said to be screenshots taken from a video call with a friend – appeared over the weekend, leaving the young teen distraught and her mum furious.
Her mum said: “I feel absolutely disgusted. Nobody wants to see their children treated like this. I want to make sure it doesn’t happen.
“She was upset, obviously. It has ruined her friendship. She was worried about going to school. There have been boys shouting things at her in the corridor.”
Another mum said “rude” pictures of her daughter, also 13, were posted on the same account and warned: “My daughter isn’t the only one.
“Some of these are naked pictures found on the internet that have been put up with children’s names attached, shaming them. My daughter went to school this morning and she didn’t even get through the gate before she started getting bullied.
“From what I saw there has been over 50 pictures posted. I’m lucky my kids can come and tell me things but there are going to be kids out there who this is happening to and they can’t do anything about it.
“It makes me feel physically sick.”
Gill Smith, a safeguarding expert at Montgomery Academy, a secondary school in All Hallows Road, Bispham, said she became aware of pictures and a list of names being distributed on Facebook. She said: “Straight away I alerted the staff to this list and to contact the families straight away and make them aware. We have offered our support to the family and the pupil and we have informed them that the police are involved.
“Any bullying that goes on at all in school we take very seriously. As a school, our pupils do lessons about online safety and we do assemblies in which we talk about inappropriate and appropriate behaviour online, online safety, and the seriousness of sharing images. We go into a lot of detail about that because we want our pupils to be safe online and to educate them.”
John Topping from the Fylde Coast Academy Trust, which runs several schools across the Fylde coast, said he understood parents’ concerns – and said: “What [children] access with mobile phones and other devices in the privacy of their own homes over the weekend will ultimately overspill into life in school on Monday morning as a result of poor choices made.”
He added: “Schools are working with the relevant safeguarding authorities including the police to assist in taking down these sites as quickly as possible.
We have strong and powerful lines of communication with parents to nip incidents in the bud hopefully before friendships between children are damaged by their actions.
“All staff have more training in these areas than in past years and The Fylde Coast Academy Trust schools are currently looking at how we can further support students with their learning about relationships, particularly as they grow up in a digital world.
“Parents and carers certainly need to be vigilant at home and to work with the police, the schools and other agencies in guiding young minds towards making better choices in their use of new technologies.”
A police spokesman said: “We are aware of the report and an investigation is underway.”
Snapchat, which allows users to post images and videos which delete themselves – unless they are screenshotted and saved – after a matter of seconds did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.