Photos of children which break the Law.

  wee eddie 10:44 10 Sep 2007

I was visiting some young friends last night.

They have just returned from a holiday in the Costa-del-Whatever with their teenage children and have several Memory Cards full of family photos.

When I arrived, he was sat at his PC going through the folders deleting any pictures that contained children other than his own (the youngest wee girl is 11 and the twins are about 14) in the foreground.

I asked him what he was doing and his reply was.

“I’m getting rid of these because I don’t want anyone to get the impression that I’m a Paedophile.”

I suggested that he stop for the while, as a lot of the pictures would be valued memories when the kids had grownup, and I would try to find out where the land really lay.

So the question is.

How does one decide whether a photo will get you on the Register or will be regarded as a harmless snap?

Is there somewhere that he can calm his nerves and read a formal definition of what type of photo would constitute such a misdemeanour?

Someone has already told me that “Intent” was the guiding factor but, to me, that is nebulous in the extreme and could be dependent on the mentality of the beholder. I cannot believe that our Law Makers would have left something as open as that.

Much appreciate anyone’s help, so that I can respond in the next 48 hours or so.


  Mike D 10:52 10 Sep 2007

Whilst I agree that children need to be protected, I think that the people who create this climate of being frightened to act normally ,need a reality check.
I know someone , who was reported to the police by the local chemist's photo processing staff for sending a film containing pornographic images of a child for developing. It was his new-born child, together with mom and other other assorted family members sharing the excitement.
I sometimes dispair of the do-gooders in this country.

  Riojaa 11:04 10 Sep 2007

Unless your friends uses a quality file shredder then most of the photos can be recovered with software recovery programs like Recover My Files.

That is how the police catch the sex criminals.

"he was sat at his PC going through the folders deleting any pictures that contained children other than his own" , if these photos were purely part of an innocent holiday then they should be kept. That is unless some of the photos could later prove to be embarrassing to the children.

I don't need any guidelines to tell me whether a genuine and innocent holiday snap is deemed unsavory or questionable.

  jack 12:09 10 Sep 2007

The interesting part is - not his children but strangers in a public place! paranoia indeed.

Well regarded images of yesteryear from places like Picture Post and other photo agencies frequently included naked children frolicking in the water and similar places - are these too , to proscribed?

  johndrew 12:14 10 Sep 2007

There are many parents who take photos of there kids in the bath or paddling pool who keep them as valued memories. I don`t consider such pictures pornographic or the parents as pedophiles.

In the same way when pictures are taken in public places, other people and children will often be captured as part of the `landscape`.

Given there is no intent (as mentioned above) for such pictures to be used or viewed as other than family memories I would suggest those with over active concerns in such cases should consider their own positions and validate their own reasoning; could it be they have a problem.

I agree if the pictures were stolen by those with unsavory intent it is possible they could be circulated in such circles. But this presupposes a crime in the first instance.

I think it wrong that fair minded and law abiding family people should be put in such a position for the few deviants within society. Keep your pictures and enjoy the memories. If some `do-gooder` chooses to think ill of you then prove them wrong and question not only their credibility but the reasons for their actions. I feel certain a member of the formal body authorised to combat such crime would feel the same.

  amonra 13:26 10 Sep 2007

What's on MY computer is private ! Only myself and family members are allowed to view the loads of photos taken over the years, of my own children and my grand children. Undoubtedly, many of them could be classified as "pornographic" but to us they are irreplacable memories of the good times. One film clip in particular of my grand-daughter crawling down the garden path in the nuddies,would be an instant court case, but to us it's hilarious !
Keep yor PC fanatics on your side of the fence, they get right up my nose.

  do-gull 14:02 10 Sep 2007

We have a son of 20 who played football for his local team and also played for wales.
We have tons of video footage of him and it is sooo
good to view it and show off his games/goals to friends.
We also have a daughter who is 3 years younger who also played football for her local team, BUT
we were unable to video ANY of her games.
It was not because she was a girl it was the three
years later on and the stupid do-gooders who take things to far.


  wee eddie 14:18 10 Sep 2007

where he can find a legal definition.

For myself as a retired single bloke, it is not that important, any way I think that I have a pretty good idea of what constitutes Child Abuse and if I were to get it wrong, I would be the only one to suffer.

For him and his family, even an unsuccessful prosecution would kill his career, they'd loose their income and probably the house as well.

  Jak_1 15:13 10 Sep 2007

There is no legal definition as suchIf the picture were taken with the clear intention of being family snaps, the fact other kids are in the background is irrelevent. Difficult to prevent that in holiday snaps on the beach for instance and if anyone complained about the pic the police would not entertain the complaint. Now if the intent was to photograph other kids without their/parents approval then that is different. Still not good enought to be classed as paedofillia though. A bit of sensible thinking has to take place here and destroying memories is bordering on paranoia.
As a freelance photographer, I have many travel pics from round the world with kids in the background and in the forground. You can't avoid it, to do so I would never have been able to take pics that were saleable as I would have missed many good shots for various reason just to avoid having kids in shot.

  Clapton is God 15:22 10 Sep 2007

Does this mean that I should now the destroy the photo of my daughter taken of her 'pole-dancing' naked around the pole of a sun umbrella on the beach in Bulgaria when she was 2 years old?

  wee eddie 15:30 10 Sep 2007

that there is not a set of Legal Guidelines out there somewhere.

Else where do the Guardians of Public Morality draw the line.

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