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Sexual offences

The definitions inform the UK laws which then stipulate what constitute a sexual offence. Furthermore, each nation has a legislative framework to protect children from adults who may pose a risk of sexual harm and to deal with adults who have sexually offended against children. The legislation makes it clear what constitutes a sexual offence against a child and states what is an appropriate sentence.

According to UK Law (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), there are specific offences relating to accessing sexual images of children, that you can be penalised for. Here is a list of the sexual offences that relate to children created for:



For further information you can access the Sexual Offences Definitive Guideline published by the Sentencing Council which is effective from April 2014. It can be found on


Continue to The legal consequences of offending