Rights and responsibilities

In A Digital World

Age of Criminal Responsibility

Anyone over the age of 10 has the right to be prosecuted and to face a court if they have committed a crime. This is because by the age of 10 you should have a sense of right from wrong and are responsible for your actions. If you have committed a crime and are under 10 then most probably you will be punished but mostly your parents will be severely punished, it depends on the crime committed

Age of Consent

If you are under the age of 16 the law forbids you to consent to any sexual activity. It is also illegal to ask someone to have sexual activity with you (or anyone else) if either of you are under 16. It is illegal to have sex with anyone under 16 if you are over or under16, if you are over 16 you will be put on the peodaphille register and if you are under 16 you will be put on the sex offenders list, giving you a criminal record. If any of this takes place with either of you being 13 or under, there are no defences in court, even if you are both under 13, you are very likely to be in prison for many years.

Cyber Bullying and Harassment

If anyone is continuosly being mean because of race, sexuality or ethnicity, online or in person, they can be prosecuted for harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Likewise, anyone seen to be bullying someone online or using any kind of technology, can be prosecuted for Cyber Bullying under the Malicious Communications Act 1988.


If you send an inappropriate picture of someone (including yourself) who is under 18, you can be prosecuted for being in possession of an indecent image of a child under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Even if you are sexting with someone over 18 (which is not illegal) it is a very bad idea as once it is sent you have no control over that image, it could end up all over the internet, even if it is sent to someone you trust, like a boyfriend/girlfriend, because they could do anything with it if you break up and they are angry. It is still sexting even if it is not on technology (thought that is what the term usually refers to), if it is a picture printed on paper, it is illegal if the picture is of someone under 18.