The government has introduced a new law this year to deal with groomers who target children through social media and mobile phones. The new offence of sexual communication with a child covers a gap in existing legislation to ensure better protection for children. Those found guilty face a term of imprisonment and automatic placement on the sex offenders register. In an age of social media and mobile phones, children are increasingly vulnerable to those who seek too exploit them. The new offence covers both online and offline communication, including through email, social media and letters. Whilst there is already a range of offences to deal with sexual communication, not all automatically attract sex offender registration.
The new law has been welcomed by campaigners – it seeks to help authorities, including police and CPS, intervene earlier and stamp out abhorrent grooming before any sexual activity takes place.