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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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It depends on the circumstances as to whether the police can become involved, however if the video or photo is of a child (a person under the age of 18) and is indecent, then the police will become involved regardless of the circumstances (see below).

Revenge porn is the publication of explicit material portraying someone who has not consented for the image or video to be shared. It is an offence to disclose a "private sexual photograph or film" without the consent of the person depicted in the content, and with the intent to cause them distress.
A person found guilty of this offence will face a fine or even imprisonment, see Q834 for more details.

If the circumstances do not fit the above offence, i.e. there is no intent to cause distress if the photo/video is for example, on one of the social networking websites, you could speak to the administrator of the internet site who may remove the material.

Otherwise you would need to obtain a restraining order from the courts to order the removal of the material. You should seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor about this matter.

With regards to showing video footage of you without your permission and there is no intent to cause distress, if you are over 18, the footage needs to be classed as obscene (the legal threshold of what is obscene is quite high and would not normally cover what could be classed as merely offensive), if you are under 18 then the footage needs to be classed as indecent before the police can become involved.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.