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Sexting: Young People

Attorney General written question – answered on 7th November 2014.

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Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller Conservative, Basingstoke

To ask the Attorney General, how many cases including the sending of a nude or sexually explicit electronic image of an individual under the age of 18 where the perpetrator of the crime is under the age of 18 have been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service in the last three years; how many such cases have been taken forward for prosecution; and how many such prosecutions have been successful.

Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright The Attorney-General

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not collect specific data on suspects referred to the CPS for a charging decision where the sending of sexually explicit images of children is alleged. However, data is available to indicate the number of offences charged, in which a prosecution commenced at magistrates’ courts, for offences of involving indecent images of children.

The two main offence provisions for the prosecution of offences relating to indecent images of children are section 1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978 (making, distributing, showing or advertising indecent images of children) and section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (possession of indecent images of children).

The table below sets out the number of offences charged by way of the above legislation, in each of the last three years, in England and Wales.

2011-2012

2012-2013

2013-2014

Protection of Children Act 1978 { 1 }

15,599

14,694

15,574

Criminal Justice Act 1988 { 160 }

3,885

3,849

4,265

Data Source: CPS Management Information System

It is not possible to disaggregate offences which relate to indecent images sent by way of an electronic device as opposed to other indecent image offences, cases where a conviction was obtained or the age of the perpetrator without reviewing individual case files incurring disproportionate cost.

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