PARENTS in York are being warned about the dangers to their children of cyberflashing.

A campaign featuring a straight-talking audio clip from a victim of cyberflashing indicates the threats to young people on the internet and social media in York today.   

The NSPCC is showing a six-week summer series across the city aimed at improving awareness of the dangers involved with children’s online activity.

A 30-second video uses examples from calls made to Childline with pointers on what to do when managing the unpleasantness put in front of young people who use the internet and social media.

This week’s topic is cyberflashing – a form of indecent exposure which the charity says is happening more often.

Cyberflashing typically involves offenders sending an unsolicited sexual image to people, usually via social media.

Helen Westerman, NSPCC’s head of local campaigns said: “It is illegal, and it is distressing, but the important thing to remember is it is never the fault of the recipient.

“It can be difficult for a parent or carer to remain calm when told about something like this, but it is important that you try – a young person speaking to a trusted adult about it is the first step towards taking action.”

City of York Safeguarding Children Partnership is working alongside the charity and provides links to NSPCC workshops, e-learning and signposting tips.


The government’s Online Safety Bill, currently passing through parliament, makes recommendations which it says will make the law better equipped to tackle the harm posed by intimate image abuse.

It says in England and Wales, an existing offence will be replaced by four new offences which cover a broader range – these come via adoption of the Law Commission’s definition of an intimate image. It also makes a provision for so called ‘deepfake’ images.

On June 29 this year the government proposed that legislation include a maximum sentence of two years in prison for the offence and said that the cyberflashing aspect of the bill included support from the Law Commission and British Transport Police.

Read more:

- NSPCC campaign highlights online dangers for York children

- Safety campaign tells of child being spammed when gaming

Helen Westermann said: “While it might be tempting to respond directly to whoever sent the image and confiscate your child’s phone, this could hamper any investigation into the crime and make your child less likely to speak out about upsetting online incidents in the future.

York Press: The NSPCC recommends calmly speaking with a child about what to do nextThe NSPCC recommends calmly speaking with a child about what to do next (Image: NSPCC)

“If your child has received a message like this, report it via the platform’s reporting tools and to police, and block the sender.

“Then have a calm conversation with your child about what to do if that happens.”

Childline counsellors are available on 0800 1111 or online, and adults who are supporting young people with this issue can phone the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 8005000 or email