In the Media

Do they know they're breaking the law?

PUBLISHED April 26, 2004

Teenagers who risk a furtive kiss could be breaking the law under a new sexual offences act that comes into effect this week.

The legislation is meant to target paedophiles, but campaigners say it will take Britain back to the mores of the Fifties by criminalising all sexual behaviour among under-16s.
The Sexual Offences Act, which becomes law on 1 May, outlaws "sexual touching" with anyone below the age of consent. Touching is defined as "all physical contact, including touching with any part of the body ... through anything, for example, through clothing".