Heavier penalties for paedophiles given support by parliament

The Sexual Offences Bill passed through parliament at the last
minute and has received royal assent, writes Sally

The act, which is the biggest legislative shake-up of sexual
offences law for 50 years, introduces a range of new measures to
protect children and vulnerable people from abuse. It passed on the
last day of the parliamentary session.

Under the new act, any person who has sex with a child under 13
will be guilty of rape, and a new grooming offence based on meeting
a child with the intention of committing a sex offence will carry a
maximum 10-year sentence.

Three new offences to protect people with learning difficulties
have also been introduced that include breach of a relationship of
care that will protect people who have the capacity to consent, but
who are vulnerable to exploitation by carers.

All those on the sex offenders register will have to register
their details, including national insurance, annually and notify
the police of a change of name or address within three days instead
of 14.

Sex offenders who have committed crimes abroad, will need to
register even if they have committed no crime in the UK. A new
offence of trafficking people for sexual exploitation will be

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