West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner backs NSPCC campaign to reform laws around online grooming (27 Oct 2014)

The Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire has pledged his support to an NSPCC campaign to make it a crime for an adult to send a child a sexual message. 

Many adults believe that it is already illegal for an adult to send a child a sexual message, but it is not always illegal currently to do so.

The NSPCC's Flaw in the Law campaign will urge the public and supporters to sign an online petition calling for the law to be reformed so that it will become illegal to send indecent messages to children.

PCC Mark Burns-Williamson said that he had discussed the issue of online grooming with his Youth Advisory Group, who had said that many social media applications could be used to send indecent images.

He added: "I am pleased to back the NSPCC's Flaw in the Law campaign and will be signing the petition to ensure the Serious Crime Bill, currently being debated in Parliament, is used as an opportunity to be tailored to better protect children from sexual abuse.

"I am also writing to the Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling, in support of the changes being proposed to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill that should see crimes committed via social media dealt with more appropriately.

"There is a worrying development in the increase of online forums and social media to bully, stalk and groom people, and this is why tackling cyber-crime is a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan.

"We must never underestimate the impact this can have on anyone, but especially those who are young and vulnerable.

"I have already made an extra £3.5m available to the police for increased capacity to deal with CSE, human trafficking and cyber-crime, and victims and witnesses, in particular those who are most vulnerable, should always come first."

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