Assistant Commissioner Hewitt:
Absolutely. We always seek very clear laws, which make our job a lot easier. Defences will always be run, and some of them will have some credibility, although I would guess that most will not in this sort of instance. For me, that is absolutely right. Having that clarity around an offence that we know is taking place—and, as I said, with the kind of access people have to their phones—is really important.
Equally, the other reason that I think that is important is that this does not sit in isolation; it is part of a continuum of sexual offending. Of course, it is not a contact offence, but it is part of that continuum, and it is absolutely right that we send a clear message that it is unacceptable to do any acts that are motivated by sexual gratification and have a victim on the other end. That starts with this, but it works through sexual assault and right into rape offences. We need that clarity, which will allow us to deal with it. As I say, you deal with it proportionately once you have the investigation.