Sidney/North Saanich RCMP recently used “alternative processes” to deal with a case involving the non-consensual sharing of intimate images among youth from Sidney and North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)

Sidney/North Saanich RCMP recently used “alternative processes” to deal with a case involving the non-consensual sharing of intimate images among youth from Sidney and North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)

Vancouver Island police warn about ‘non-consensual sharing’ of intimate images

RCMP issue reminder that it’s illegal to share nude pictures after Sidney case involving youth

Police are reminding the public that the non-consensual sharing of intimate images is a criminal offence after the Sidney / North Saanich RCMP recently dealt with a case involving youth.

Staff-Sgt. Wayne Conley said the case involving youth from North Saanich and Sidney unfolded over December and January. Conley said police dealt with the case through “alternative processes” without going into additional details. While police did not issue criminal charges in the case, police had about “four reports of this over the past three, four months,” said Conley. These types of cases might not be happening frequently, but police have seen an “increase in them over the last year or two” and not just limited to youth, he said.

As the federal Department of Justice notes, the non-consensual distribution of intimate images (including videos) can occur in various situations involving adults and youth, often during and after the break-up of relationships. Popular accounts often describe this practice as ‘revenge porn,’ with victims often subject to extortion and bullying.

Canadian law considers the publication of intimate images of someone without consent a criminal offence. The Criminal Code defines an “intimate image” as a visual recording of a person “made by any means including a photographic, film or video recording” of explicit sexual activity, nudity or partial nudity. The sharing, distribution or selling of such recording is considered illegal if someone knowingly shares such content with third parties, knowing that the person depicted in the recording would not consent.

It is illegal to distribute explicit images or videos involving a minor regardless of whether consent was given.

RELATED: B.C. man convicted of criminally harassing ex-wife online denied bail

Recent years have seen the addition of new tools that help police find such images. Companies operating various platforms on social media also implemented policies designed to fight ‘revenge porn.’ This said, Conley said the most effective way to deal with this sort of crime is to prevent it in the first place.

“We as police will always say, ‘Don’t share images,’ but we know it is going to happen,” said Const. Vanessa Fields.

If it does happen, victims should contact police, said Conley. “The sooner, the better, because the parties involved may continue to proliferate that distribution.”

“And parents should be monitoring their children’s online activities and also have that open discussion with their kids,” added Fields. “‘Hey, I don’t want you doing this, but if you do it and this happens, you can tell me. I’m not going to be mad, but we want to get on top of this because once it gets on the Internet, it is there forever.’”

The case involving the local youth actually underscored this point.

Police actually saw what Conley called a “repeat of that distribution” on multiple occasions. “You think you have it addressed, but you actually didn’t know that somebody else had it and it got redistributed. So it came to the surface again.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP locate driver and vehicle, but are asking for video footage

Students from AW Neill Elementary School in Port Alberni write anti-bullying messages and draw colourful chalk art around their school for national anti-bullying Pink Shirt Day, Feb. 24, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY LISA ARBANAS)
Chalk art brightens public walkway on Pink Shirt Day

Students from AW Neill Elementary in Port Alberni write messages of hope

Mary Mason of Owls Path Foundation presents plans for a Nuu-chah-nulth Cultural Centre to Port Alberni city council. The structure pictured in this image is the Copenhagen Opera House. (SCREENSHOT)
Nuu-chah-nulth cultural centre pitched for Port Alberni

Three possible locations put forward for multi-million-dollar centre

An endangered Vancouver Island marmot suns itself on rocks at Mount Washington, near the Comox Valley. Learn more about this endangered species with the Alberni Valley Nature Club. (PHOTO COURTESY SANDY MCRUER, AV NATURE CLUB)
Marmots, underwater mysteries part of Alberni Valley Nature Club lineup

Club kicks off membership drive with series of Zoom chats

The current exhibit at the Rollin Art Centre. The art gallery has COVID-19 protective measures in place. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
ARTS AROUND: Rollin Art Centre puts out a call to artists

Port Alberni’s Community Arts Council will hold a pandemic-inspired art exhibit

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

Most Read