Mary supports Government proposed legislation to make the grooming of children into crime a crime.
The Criminal Justice (Exploitation of Children in the Commission of Offences) Bill will, for the first time, create specific offence where an adult compels, coerces, induces or invites a child to engage in criminal activity.
While current law already provides that an adult who causes or uses a child to commit a crime can generally be found guilty as the principal offender – meaning they can be punished as though they committed the crime themselves – it does not recognise the harm done to a child by drawing them into a world of criminality.
This new law is designed to address that harm directly. Those found guilty of the new offences face imprisonment of 12 months on summary conviction and up to five years on indictment. The child concerned does not have to have to be successful in carrying out the offence for the law to apply.
Click here for full Bill.