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CPS guidance: ‘youth produced sexual imagery’

New CPS guidance suggests ‘sexting’ between children or sharing of  ‘youth produced sexual imagery’ should not be routinely prosecuted.

Details

Guidance published by the CPS advising prosecutors that ‘care should be taken when considering ‘sexting’ that involve images taken of persons under 18.1 The guidance advises that it would not usually be in the public interest to prosecute the consensual sharing of sexual images between children and this would suggest most of these incidents be dealt with informally.

‘Whilst it would not usually be in the public interest to prosecute the consensual sharing of an image between two children of a similar age in a relationship, a prosecution may be appropriate in other scenarios, such as those involving exploitation, grooming or bullying.'2

‘When assessing whether a prosecution is required in the public interest prosecutors must follow the approach set out in these guidelines as well as the wider principles set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors. One factor that may warrant particular consideration is the involvement of younger or immature perpetrators. Children may not appreciate the potential harm and seriousness of their communications and as such the age and maturity of suspects should be given significant weight, particularly if they are under the age of 18.'3

Read the Crown Prosecution Service legal guidance:

 

  1. Guidelines on prosecuting cases involving communications sent via social media (‘Disclosing private images without consent’)  (back)
  2. CPS Guidelines on prosecuting cases involving communications sent via social media (‘Disclosing private images without consent’)  (back)
  3. Revenge Pornography – Guidelines on prosecuting the offence of disclosing private sexual photographs and films  (back)