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Appendix A: Range of orders, disruption tactics used by the police to prevent, tackle and prosecute perpetrators of cse

Sexual Offences Act 2003

Prosecutions for child sexual exploitation can be brought under provisions of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. These include:

It is now a criminal offence for an adult to send a sexual message to a child. The Serious Crime Act which received royal assent on 3rd March 2015 amends section 15 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Disruption tactics

If the criteria for a criminal prosecution are not met a variety of disruption tactics are used by the police:

A Child Sexual exploitation Letter 

Letter to Person of Concern: This letter should be used where there are concerns that an adult is having inappropriate contact with a person under 18 and that the person under 18 is at risk of or vulnerable to CSE. This could be where there is information that the adult has been in company with the child or young person or that there are children/young people at their address. It should be used where there is insufficient information, intelligence or evidence to take other action. If any offences are suspected or disclosed, this is not an appropriate course of action.

If the criteria are met to serve a Child Abduction Warning Notice (CAWN), then a CAWN should be served instead of using this letter.

A Child Abduction Warning Notices

Section 2, Child Abduction Act 1984  – children under 16

Section 49, Children Act 1989 – children under 18 and subject of a Care Order

These notices, which have no legal authority in themselves, are authorised by a child’s parent/person with parental responsibility and issued by the Police, warn a suspected perpetrator to stop associating with a named child.  As such, the adult is made aware that a concern has been raised about the relationship and that authorities are watching.  Although the notices have no legal effect themselves, they effectively deprive suspects of the defences that either they did not know the age of the child or they thought that they would have had the permission of the person responsible for the child to have that child with them.

Civil Remedies

There are a wide number of civil remedies applicable in many different situations:

Sexual Risk Order (replaced Risk of Sexual Harm Orders)

Can be issued against an individual who has ‘done an act of a sexual nature which suggests that they pose a risk of harm to the public in the UK or children and vulnerable adults abroad’.  An ‘act of a sexual nature’ has not been defined in the legislation and the guidance states this ‘will depend to a significant degree on the individual circumstances of the behaviour and its context’, which means this Order may be used by Police and the National Crime Agency to disrupt grooming activity.  A Sexual Risk Order lasts a minimum of 2 years and has no maximum duration.  Breach of a Sexual Risk Order is a criminal offence which can attract a term of imprisonment of up to 5 years. Breach of an Abduction Notice can become grounds for issuing of the Sexual Risk Order.

A Sexual Harm Prevention Order (Anti-Social Behaviour and Crime and Policing Act 2014)

Can be made against a person who has been convicted or cautioned in relation to a sexual offence to protect any members of the public in the UK, or vulnerable adults and children abroad, from sexual harm including protecting children from grooming activity.  The Sexual Harm Prevention Order must be made for a minimum of 5 years and can be made for an indefinite period if necessary.  The Order can contain any prohibitions aimed at protecting children and others.  Breach of an Order is a criminal offence, which can attract a term of imprisonment of up to 5 years.

A Serious Crime Prevention Order (Serious Crime Prevention Act 2007)

The following offences against the Sexual Offences Act 2003 are qualifying offences for these orders:

Section Offence
14 arranging or facilitating commission of a child sex offence
48 causing or inciting the sexual exploitation of a child
49 controlling a child through sexual exploitation
50 arranging or facilitating the sexual exploitation of a child
52 causing or inciting prostitution for gain
53 controlling prostitution for gain
57,58,59 trafficking for sexual exploitation