Police in Bideford said there had been several cases of young men in Torridge being blackmailed after ‘sexting’.

Police are urging young people considering ‘sexting’ to think twice before sending any photographs to other people.

Bideford neighbourhood team leader, sergeant Charlie Morris, said officers were urging young people to think: ‘Would I want my parents to see this?’

“If the answer is no, then you probably should not be sending it,” he said.

Sgt Morris said incidents of blackmail and grooming were becoming an ‘emerging problem’.

He said this year there had been several cases reported to them of young men being blackmailed after being urged to perform sexual acts on webcam, which had then been recorded.

“They were receiving emails saying if they did not pay 1,000 Euros the videos would be shared with all of their Facebook friends,” said Sgt Morris.

Police said they didn’t want to stop young people exploring their sexuality but wanted to make them aware of the potential dangers, such as grooming.

“There is also the aspect of bullying and peer pressure and we are working to educate young people on the potential dangers both short and long term,” added Sgt Morris.