- Created on Saturday, 24 October 2015 05:20
A film aimed at highlighting the dangers of sexting has had its first screening. The feature film, titled Betrayal, saw officers from the Glossop and Hadfield beats teaming up with students at Stockport College to produce, direct and star in an educational drama. Betrayal follows the lives of a young couple who find themselves in an unfortunate situation after sharing illicit images over text message and social media. The film carries a serious and hard-hitting message to highlight the dangers and consequences of sexting.
Simon Andrews, Principle at Stockport College, Len Howarth and Section Inspector Barry Doyle
Betrayal was first screened yesterday (Thursday, October 22) at an official premier held at Stockport College on Wellington Road South. The packed auditorium was filled with support from many students, family members and police, including Assistant Chief Constable Martyn Bates, PCC Alan Charles, Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable, Sir Peter Fahey and High Sheriff of Derbyshire, Oliver Stephenson.
The High Sheriff of Greater Manchester Sharman Birtles and the Mayor and Mayoress of Stockport, Andrew Verdeille and Mrs Cleo Cundall also attended amongst others.
Section Inspector Barry Doyle, who oversees policing in Buxton North, said: “Section 45 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 states that it is an offence to take, distribute, show or possess indecent images of a person below the age of 18.
“As social media expands at an alarming rate young people are either criminalising themselves, becoming the victims of crime or quite often both. They are unwittingly committing crime and they are also making themselves extremely vulnerable to exploitation.
“Children and young people don’t realise that what they are doing is illegal and that once the images are out there they will never go away. They don’t realise that in certain circumstances they could be prosecuted and placed on the sex offenders register. Frequently this leads to young people self-harming and in extreme cases, taking their own lives. This is an issue not just for the police but for many other agencies we work alongside.
“I really believe that we can help to make a difference with this film. The vital bit now is delivering this to schools and colleges in Glossop, with the hope of rolling this out in Derbyshire and Greater Manchester.”
Jake Allen-Cawley, a student at the college who plays the main lead in Betrayal added: “When I was given the main part and found out what play was about, I did my research on sexting and sending illicit images but I didn’t realise the huge impact that this had on people’s lives and how it can have such a serious outcome.
“I hope that when students see the film they will realise the severity of sexting. It’s not just fun and games; it can have a huge impact on someone’s live with often devastating results.”
The screening of Betrayal was followed by an awards ceremony to recognise the hard work and dedication shown by students, lecturers and officers throughout the making of the film.
Police Support Volunteer Len Howarth first thought up the concept of the film and worked closely with Section Inspector Barry Doyle, College Tutor Andrew Percival and students at Stockport College to bring the ideas to reality.
Len, who has recently become a police support volunteer based at Glossop, said: “The film aims to raise awareness of sexting, not just the dangers for the victim but also the consequences for the perpetrator, their family and friends. It’s a ripple affect which starts off with one and sees more people becoming involved and criminalising themselves without even realising it.
“I first met up with Barry Doyle who told me about some of the things happening in the area and across the county of young people taking photos of themselves and what was happening to these young people.
“I then approached Stockport College with the idea and we went from there. The film is now finished and will be piloted at two schools in Glossop with the hope of rolling this out across the county and wider.
“I was very proud and humbled to see the end product and I would like to thank all the people who came along to the premier to show their support. It has received fantastic support from senior officers and it will great to see where this goes in the future.”
For information and support around sexting, call ChildLine on 0800 1111 or visit the webpage at: http://www.childline.org.uk/Explore/OnlineSafety/Pages/Sexting.aspx