Age of consent
The sexual offences act (2003) states that anyone below the age of 16 cannot take part in any sexual activity. This law states that there is no defence for anyone who is having sex with someone below the age of 16 because anyone below that age cannot consent. You may be prosecuted and put on the sex offenders register and get a criminal record if you break this law
Sexually touching a person under the age of 16 or asking them to do a sexual act is against the law and you can be prosecuted
Acting sexually or asking a person under the age of 13 to do a sexual act is against the law and the person can be prosecuted. There will be no defences at court as the person is under 13, the person can be prosecuted even is they are under the age of 16 or 13.
The protection from harassment act was made in 1997. It states that if anyone is mean to another person because of their ethnicity, race or sexuality, they can be prosecuted.
Many people think that being mean to someone over the internet will go unpunished, however, they are wrong. If you continuously bully someone or intend to hurt their feelings using technology, you can be presecuted according to the Malicious Communications Act which was introduced in 1988. Cyberbullying is just as bad as bullying someone in real life, infact it is worse because you cannot hide from it and therefore many people have felt the need to take their own lives. If you feel worried or uncomfortable, then tell an adult you trust or report it by clicking CEOP. A way to protect yourself from being cyberbullied is by not talking to people you don't personally know, only talk to people you have met before. If you hurt someone's feelings without realising, stop immediately and apologise to that person.
Staying safe online
Sexting is when you send an indecent image of yourself to someone else via text or other technology. This is against the law as whoever you have sent it to owns an indecent image of a child. It is illegal if the people involved are under the age of 18 and the person, whether you know them or not, can be prosecuted under the Sexual offences act which was introduced in 2003. Remember that if you send a picture to someone you know or you think you know, they can do anything with that picture. For example, show other people or put it on the internet. If you feel uncomfortable or in danger of this happening to you, report it by clicking CEOP or telling an adult you trust.