Campaigners’ fury as only 3% of revenge porn incidents reported result in charges

Just 3% of revenge porn ­incidents reported to police have resulted in charges, the Sunday People can reveal.

Sharing another person’s ­private sexual photos or videos without consent became illegal in 2015. But of the 23,672 complaints to police on the matter since, just 846 have resulted in a charge.

Kate Isaacs, founder of the campaign group Not Your Porn, said: “The original law in 2015 was loose and means it’s difficult to get a conviction. You have to be able to prove malicious intent. Added to that, no one ­really knows the law.”

In some cases “lack of public interest” was cited as a reason for no charges, a Freedom of Information request to all 43 UK forces found.

And not all responded, with the Met among the 12 that declined.

Ms Isaacs said: “I feel sick they’d say it’s not in the public interest. It’s shocking and a clear demonstration of how little women’s rights and image-based sexual abuse are taken seriously.”

Mum-of-two Natasha Saunders, 33, a domestic abuse victim, said: “It’s horrific. The law is not being enforced and it’s not good enough. These are very real crimes.

“When I was with my abuser he took images of me. When he gets out of prison he’ll have access to these images. Even after I left I was getting threats. He said he would share the images with everyone on my phone book. There needs to be better guidance for the police.”

Ms Saunders’ ex-husband could be out of prison by 2025, after he was sentenced to 12 years in 2018 for three counts of rape and one of sexual assault.

There have been 3,800 cases of revenge porn reported already this year. Of those, 45 people have been charged. Some 653 victims were aged under 18. One was 79.

Facebook is the most commonly used site for revenge porn, with 3,574 reports in the past eight years. Antigone Davis, global head of safety at Facebook owner Meta, said: “Meta has always been committed to removing non-consensual intimate images from our platforms.”

The Crown Prosecution Service said almost 1,000 have been convicted over revenge porn in the past five years, 198 of them jailed, adding: “The CPS takes revenge porn extremely seriously.”

The Sunday People approached the Ministry of Justice for comment.