Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

New offence introduced to prevent grooming

Justice secretary introduces new offence of ‘sexual communication with a child’ whereby offenders face two years in prison

swings

People who groom children using phones and social media face two years in prison, the government has announced.

The Ministry of Justice has introduced a new offence of ‘sexual communication with a child’. Justice Secretary Elizabeth Truss has acted decisively to bring in a new offence of sexual communication with a child to cover a gap in existing legislation and ensure children are protected.

Those found guilty also face being automatically placed on the sex offenders register.

Justice Secretary Elizabeth Truss said: “In a world of mobile phones and social media, our children are ever more vulnerable to those who prey on their innocence and exploit their trust.

“The best way of protecting our young people from the evils of child abuse is to stop it happening in the first place. This new offence will give courts the powers to jail anyone who sends a sexual communication to a child – and stop the process of grooming before it starts,” she added.

The new offence came into effect on 3 April 2017 and covers both online and offline communication, including through social media, e-mail, and letters. There are a range of offences already available to deal with sexual communication, depending on the circumstances, but many do not automatically attract sex offender registration.

NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said: “The Justice Secretary has done the right thing. This is a victory for the 50,000 people who supported the NSPCC’s Flaw in the Law campaign. It is a victory for common sense. Children should be as safe online as they are offline, wherever they are in the UK.

“This law will give police in England and Wales the powers they need to protect children from online grooming, and to intervene sooner to stop abuse before it starts,” Wanless concluded.

 

Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

Research to examine impact of online communication with children in care during pandemic

08/05/2021

An investigation into how the move to online communication in supporting children in care has affected them has been launched in a research project led by South Tyneside Council in collaboration with Gateshead-based organisation Blue Cabin.

The project, funded by the Department for Education, will examine how family time has been delivered during lockdown, and how [...]

Read Full Story

Child protection enquiries rise by 125% in a decade

07/05/2021

The number of child protection enquiries to local authority children’s services departments has increased by 125% over the last 10 years, a parliamentary research briefing has shown.

Department for Education (DfE) data on local authority social care activity between 31 March 2010 and 2020 showed an increase in activity across a range of measures including the [...]

Read Full Story

Cafcass launches NQSW programme

06/05/2021

A three-year course for newly qualified social workers has been launched by Cafcass and is now open for applications.

Overseen by the Cafcass Social Work Academy, the programme enables NQSWs to develop their practice in a safe environment. Led by expert social workers, the course supports NQSW’s in their journey, enhance their expertise and ensure [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
Delivering a diverse, reliable range of services to children and their families across the UK
D1, Parkside, Knowledge Gateway, Nesfield Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 3ZL
Contact Us

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

closechevron-downbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram