Sexual Offences Bill is published

Measures designed to increase protection of children and vulnerable
people from sexual abuse were launched last week.

The government’s Sexual Offences Bill includes a range of new
offences first aired in the Queen’s Speech last November, such as
inappropriately persuading children to undress and a new grooming
offence based on meeting a child with the intention of committing a
sexual offence (news, page 6, 21 November).

New offences relating to sexual exploitation of a child for a
person’s own gain will carry long custodial sentences.

Any offence involving penetration of a child under 13 or a person
who can’t give consent will attract a life sentence.

Those committed of sex crimes overseas will also have to register
as sex offenders.

Home secretary David Blunkett said: “Sexual crime, especially
against children, can tear apart the very fabric of society.”

– See

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