Charity demands tougher penalties for sexual offences against people with learning difficulties

Tougher penalties for sex crimes against people with learning
difficulties have been recommended by Mencap in a new report.

Adults with learning difficulties are four times more likely to
be the victims of sexual abuse than the rest of the population,
according to the report.

Estimates indicate that there are 1,400 new cases a year, but
just 6 per cent lead to prosecutions.

Mencap has recommended that it should be a criminal offence for
a care worker to have sexual relations with a person with a
learning difficulty in their care.

It says the maximum sentence for sexually abusing a person with
a severe learning difficulty should also be lengthened from two
years’ imprisonment to life.

The charity also wants to see training for police, the crown
prosecution service and judges to raise awareness of how to support
people with learning difficulties.

‘Behind Closed Doors’ available from



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