Following the data released under the Freedom of Information Act, Labour has concluded that there is growing evidence of a “ticking time bomb” being faced by teenagers.
According to Labour, the Conservative party has failed to safeguard the ‘smartphone generation’, after a reported 3,000 per cent rise in sexting among under-16 year olds in Greater Manchester in the last two years.
The party said the data released under the Freedom of Information Act, shows there are thousands sending explicit messages and images.
In 2015, 193 under-16s were investigated, a rise from just six in 2013.
Since 2010 the number of police incidents involving children sharing explicit images or messages has soared by almost 7,000 per cent nationally.
Labour says the government has failed to protect youngsters since the emergence of a new era of smartphone apps including Tinder, Snapchat and WhatsApp.
The party says guidance for schools on sex and relationship education has not been updated since the millennium – before the smartphone generation were even born.
Manchester Central MP and the Shadow Education Secretary Lucy Powell is set to announce Labour’s commitment to making personal, social, health and economic education – including age appropriate sex education – compulsory.
In a bid to tackle the ‘premature sexualisation’ of young people, Ms Powell has published a dossier of evidence revealing the extent of a raft of issues facing teenagers – including religious radicalisation; mental health; substance abuse; and sexualisation.
“Every day we see more evidence that access to new media and technology is creating new and unprecedented risks for young people.
“Yet David Cameron refuses to act. Shockingly children as young as 13, are starting to use dating and hook-up apps”.