UK Family Law Reform

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-----Original Message-----
From: public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
Sent: Monday, December 08, 2014 2:27 PM
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Subject: Re: David Cameron made a speech about cracking down on online pornography and making the internet safer for children on 22 July 2013

Dear Mr Mortimer,

Thank you for your e-mail of 05/11/2014 09:59:43, regarding indecent images of children. Your letter has been passed to me to reply.

Preventing such abuse, through identifying, arresting and prosecuting those involved in the sexual exploitation of children is a major priority of the Government.

With regard to the distribution of indecent images of children, both on the Internet and elsewhere, the Government is determined to do all it can to curb this activity. The law in this area is very clear. Under the Protection of Children Act 1978 (as amended), the UK has an absolute prohibition on the taking, making, circulation and possession with a view to distribution of any indecent photograph of a child under 18 and these offences carry a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment. Section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 also makes the simple possession of indecent photographs of children an offence and carries a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment. The term ‘indecent’ is not defined in the 1978 Act. The courts decide in each case whether the material in question is indecent or not.

All published material is subject to the Obscene Publications Act 1959 (OPA). For the purposes of this Act, a person publishes an article who distributes, circulates, sells, lets on hire, gives, lends it, or who offers it for sale or for letting on hire; or in the case of an article containing or embodying matter to be looked at; or in the case of a record, shows, plays or projects it, or, where the matter is stored electronically, transmits that matter. The general test of “obscenity” is flexible allowing the courts to reflect society’s attitudes towards pornographic and other material.

The OPA applies equally to material published over the internet, or broadcast on the television, though the overwhelming majority of potentially obscene material published on the internet originates abroad, in countries which do not share our approach to this material. The maximum penalty for offences under the OPA was recently raised from three to five years imprisonment.

With regard to taking action against these images and the people responsible for their creation, possession and circulation, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Command of the National Crime Agency (NCA) is central to this work. As part of the NCA, CEOP can access more resources to deal with complex cases of child sexual exploitation and abuse, and benefits from support from other NCA specialist functions such as the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU). Every one of the NCA’s officers has a legal duty to safeguard children and promote child welfare.

Furthermore, action by law enforcement agencies forms only one part of our overall approach to tackling this issue. In July 2013, the Prime Minister announced a major programme of work to tackle these images nationally and globally, including:

Internet search engines have made changes to their search mechanisms, and these new measures have been effective in preventing access to child abuse images.

We are creating a new child abuse image database that will hold a national record of the images seized by the police. This will enable the police to identify known images more quickly on suspects’ computers and will improve their ability to identify and safeguard victims from the images.

Britain and the US have also created a Taskforce that is a platform for industry to develop technical solutions to online child sexual exploitation. This work is ongoing.

The UK will host a global summit this week on online child sexual exploitation. We have invited representatives of key partner governments and organisations to join the summit, focusing on protecting the victims of online child abuse and how we can work internationally to prevent children being exploited online.

I hope that this information will reassure you that the Government is taking action to deal with those committing these crimes.

Justin Millar
Public.Enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/home-office

From: Unmonitored.ACCOUNT@education.gsi.gov.uk
Sent: Friday, December 05, 2014 1:10 PM
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Subject: Department for Education response: Case Reference 2014/0074959

Dear Mr Mortimer

I am writing on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education to thank you for your email of 17 November about the law relating to the publication of pornographic portrayals of rape.

I understand your concerns regarding such material, but I must explain that the department cannot comment on newspaper articles. I should also add that matters relating to pornography do not fall under the department's remit. Any concerns you have regarding pornography should be raised with the Home Office (HO). You can contact HO by telephone on: 020 7035 4848, or by emailing: public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk. Alternatively, you can write to:

Home Office, Direct communications unit, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF

Thank you for taking the time to write. I am sorry I cannot send a more comprehensive response but hope you find this information helpful.

Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2014/0074959. If you need to respond to us, please visit: http://www.education.gov.uk/contactus, and quote your reference number.

As part of our commitment to improving the service we provide to our customers, we are interested in hearing your views and would welcome your comments via our website at: http://www.education.gov.uk/pcusurvey

Yours sincerely

Matthew Dalby
Ministerial and Public Communications Division
http://www.gov.uk/dfe

-----Original Message-----
From: robert.buckland.mp@parliament.uk
Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2014 5:16 PM
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Subject: RE: Please make it a crime to publish pornographic portrayals of
rape in England and Wales.

Dear Mr Mortimer,

Many thanks for your email about the criminalisation of pornographic
portrayals of rape. I greatly appreciate your concerns about child
pornography in particular.

Child pornography is appalling and under the Protection of Children Act it
is already illegal to produce, distribute or possess indecent images of
children and offenders can serve sentences of up to 10 years in prison for
these crimes.

However, the Government is working with other parties to develop measures to
increase prosecutions and convictions for those found in breach of the law.
Police forces across the country have been working together to produce a
single, secure database which will enable them to work together more
effectively and close the net on paedophiles. The Government is also
co-operating with internet search providers to bring about additional means
to restrict searches for child pornography.

The production, distribution and possession of adult pornography, on the
other hand, is not illegal. However, images depicting extreme pornographic
scenes will soon become so.

The Government believes there is some evidence that viewing images depicting
extreme pornographic scenes may have an effect on young peoples' attitudes
to sexual and violent behaviour, and that that some men can exhibit
heightened aggression towards women after exposure to violent pornography
The Government announced that the law would be extended to cover images of
rape and other non-consensual penetrative sexual activity.
The Government
believes that such images are unacceptable and most people would regard them
as disgusting and deeply disturbing.

Thank you once again for writing to me.

Yours sincerely,
Robert Buckland QC MP
robert.buckland.mp@parliament.uk
http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/commons/mr-robert-buckland/4106

-----Original Message-----
From: public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2014 2:45 PM
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Subject: Please make it a crime to publish pornographic portrayals of rape in England and Wales.

Mr David Mortimer,

Reference : T17446/14

Date: 20-Nov-2014

TREAT OFFICIAL CORRESPONDENCE

Thank you for your e-mail of 17/11/2014 17:17:57.

The matters you have raised are the responsibility of Ministry of Justice.

We have therefore transferred your e-mail to MoJ, who will arrange for a
reply to be sent to you.

Transfer Desk

The original of this email was scanned for viruses by the Government Secure Intranet virus scanning service supplied by Vodafone in partnership with Symantec. (CCTM Certificate Number 2009/09/0052.) This email has been certified virus free.
Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for legal purposes.

-----Original Message-----
From: alun.cairns.mp@parliament.uk
Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2014 2:11 PM
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Subject: Please make it a crime to publish pornographic portrayals of rape in England and Wales.

Dear Mr Mortimer,

Thank you for contacting me about the criminalisation of pornography.

As a father of an eleven year old, I appreciate your concerns about child pornography in particular. I agree that child pornography is appalling and have therefore spoken with other Ministers to raise the matter directly.

I understand that under the Protection of Children Act, it is already illegal to produce, distribute or possess indecent images of children and offenders can serve sentences of up to 10 years in prison for these crimes.

Ministers advise me that they are working with other parties to develop measures to increase prosecutions and convictions for those found in breach of the law. Police forces across the country have been working together to produce a single, secure database which will enable them to work together more effectively and close the net on paedophiles. The Government is also cooperating with internet search providers to bring about additional means to restrict searches for child pornography.

The production, distribution and possession of adult pornography is not illegal. I understand that depicting extreme pornographic scenes will soon become so. The law has been extended to cover images of rape and other non-consensual sexual activity. I agree that such images are unacceptable and most people would regard them as disgusting and deeply disturbing.

I hope this information is helpful and thank you once again for taking the time to raise this issue.

Yours,

Alun Cairns MP AS
Vale of Glamorgan / Bro Morgannwg
alun.cairns.mp@parliament.uk
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
T: 0207 219 7175
29 High Street / 29 Y Stryd Fawr, Barry / Y Barri, CF62 7EB
01446 403814
http://www.aluncairns.co.uk

-----Original Message-----
From: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2014 4:34 PM
To: CLPUCorrespondence@justice.gsi.gov.uk
Subject: Re: Sent CLPU - TO14/1699 David Mortimer

Dear Ministry of Justice,

Please will you kindly confirm if the legal situation is, although it’s been a crime to publish pornographic portrayals of rape for decades, existing legislation does not cover possession of this material, at least in England and Wales. Possession of such material is already an offence in Scotland, but because of a loophole in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 it is not an offence south of the border.

Yours Sincerely

David Mortimer

-----Original Message-----
From: CLPUCorrespondence@justice.gsi.gov.uk
Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 11:47 AM
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Subject: Sent CLPU - TO14/1699 David Mortimer

Dear Mr Mortimer

Thank you for your e-mail of 5 November addressed to Shailesh Vara about indecent images of children. Your letter has been passed to me at the Ministry of Justice as senior policy advisor with interest in the law on pornography, obscenity and sexual offences.

Firstly, I should make it absolutely clear that the Government considers that the protection of children from sexual abuse is a top priority. The laws in this area are rightly robust and clear.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 which came into effect in May 2004, significantly modernised and strengthened the laws on sexual offences in England and Wales to provide extra protection to children from sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. The Act reflects what we know today about the patterns and impact of sexual abuse in childhood. It was designed to meet the 21st century challenges of protecting children, and addresses issues including internet pornography and ‘grooming’ children for sexual abuse.

I attach a link to the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which I hope you will find helpful:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/42/contents

In your letter you ask that the possession of indecent photographs of children be made a crime. I can reassure you that our laws in this area are fully equipped to deal with the possession of such material.

The law in this area is very clear and applies whether the images are shown online or offline. Under the Protection of Children Act 1978 (as amended), the UK has an absolute prohibition on the taking, making, circulation and possession with a view to distribution of any indecent photograph of a child under 18 and these offences carry a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment. Section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 also makes the simple possession of indecent photographs of children an offence and carries a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment. The term ‘indecent’ is not defined in the 1978 Act. The courts decide in each case whether the material in question is indecent or not.

In addition to this, Section 62 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 created a new criminal offence to make illegal the possession of non-photographic visual depictions of child sexual abuse, including ‘Hentai’ cartoons and computer-generated images of child abuse with a three year maximum prison sentence.

The Government also supports the work of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), which was set up in 1996 by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to enable members of the public, via a hotline, to report child pornography in a newsgroup or website. If the material is considered illegal, the Foundation passes details to the UK police to start action against the originators and asks ISPs to deny access to the sites concerned. If the originators are abroad, the IWF passes the report to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) who liaise with the enforcement agencies of the countries concerned - and successful police action has resulted, both within the United Kingdom and internationally.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre was opened in April 2006 and is the UK’s national law enforcement agency committed to tackling the sexual abuse of children in both the online and offline environments - with the principal aim of identifying, locating and safeguarding children and young people from harm.

I hope this reassures you of the strength of the criminal law in these important areas and of the Government’s ongoing commitment to protect society’s most vulnerable.

I can assure you that the Government remains committed to protecting children from sexual abuse.

Yours sincerely,

Criminal and Civil Law Policy Unit
102 Petty France
London
SW1H 9AJ
T:020 3334 3555
F: 020 3334 4455
general.queries@justice.gsi.gov.uk
http://www.justice.gov.uk

-----Original Message-----
From: fiona.bruce.mp@parliament.uk
Sent: Friday, November 07, 2014 8:29 PM
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Subject: Re: David Cameron made a speech about cracking down on online pornography and making the internet safer for children on 22 July 2013

I do

From: kristensenf@parliament.uk
Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2014 11:07 AM
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Subject: David Cameron made a speech about cracking down on online pornography and making the internet safer for children on 22 July 2013

Dear Mr Mortimer,

Many thanks for your recent email on David Cameron’s 2013 speech and pornography.

From reading the text of the speech, it seems as though the relevant area of issue highlighted was the possession of material depicting rape. Given that legislation already exists to prohibit the possession of child pornography, did you mean to enquire instead about developments to prohibit possession of material depicting rape?

I have copied the relevant section of the 2013 speech below.

Many thanks,

Finn Kristensen

Office of Dominic Raab MP

Member of Parliament for Esher & Walton

House of Commons, London SW1 0AA

Tel: 020 7219 5197

“The legal situation is, although it’s been a crime to publish pornographic portrayals of rape for decades, existing legislation does not cover possession of this material, at least in England and Wales. Possession of such material is already an offence in Scotland, but because of a loophole in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 it is not an offence south of the border. But I can tell you today, we are changing that: we are closing the loophole, making it a criminal offence to possess internet pornography that depicts rape.”

-----Original Message-----
From: andrew.rosindell.mp@parliament.uk
Sent: Wednesday, November 05, 2014 11:35 PM
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Subject: RE: David Cameron made a speech about cracking down on online pornography and making the internet safer for children on 22 July 2013

Yes I would!

Andrew Rosindell M.P.
Member of Parliament for Romford
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA
http://www.andrew.rosindell.com

From: caroline.nokes.mp@parliament.uk
Sent: Wednesday, November 05, 2014 2:40 PM
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Subject: Re: David Cameron made a speech about cracking down on online pornography and making the internet safer for children on 22 July 2013

Dear Mr Mortimer

Thank you for your email - I do as ever have to point you in the direction of your own MP Mark Lancaster.

However I would wholeheartedly support making the possession of child pornography a crime.

Best wishes

Caroline Nokes MP
Romsey and Southampton North
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA
Tel: 0207 219 1468
http://www.carolinenokes.com

-----Original Message-----
From:lindsay.roy.mp@parliament.uk
Sent: Wednesday, November 05, 2014 10:34 AM
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Subject: Re: David Cameron made a speech about cracking down on online pornography and making the internet safer for children on 22 July 2013

Yes

Lindsay Roy MP CBE

http://www.ukfamilylawreform.co.uk/abuse.htm