Anyone aged 18 or over who intentionally communicates with a child under 16, acting for a sexual purpose and where the communication is sexual or intended to elicit a sexual response can be sent to jail for a maximum of two years, and will automatically be placed on the Sex Offenders Register.
The offence applies to online and offline communication, including social media, e-mail, texts, letters, and other forms of communication.
The law was created after the NSPCC campaigned for better protections for children online. During the Lords Report stage of the Serious Crime Bill Lord Harris of Haringey then tabled an amendment proposing a new criminal offence in this area.
The provisions can be found in S.67 of The Serious Crime Act 2015:
Sexual communication with a child
After section 15 of…
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