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What is child grooming?
18 Aug 2021

Child grooming is a growing concern in the UK. There has been a rise in child grooming and other child related crimes and you may have seen exposure of this crime on social media and other news outlets. If you have any concerns for your child or for anyone that you know then contact ABV Solicitors, as we have a team of lawyers who will be able to assist you and provide you with professional, friendly and expert advice.

National statistics

A sexual offence solicitor will explain to you in detail what child grooming is. Child grooming is the process by which a perpetrator targets and makes friends with a child, with the intention of manipulating the child and then forcing the child to perform sexual activities. There were over 75,000 sexual offences committed against children in 2020 and this has risen from previous years, which has led to an increase of work for a sexual offence solicitor. This demonstrates that sexual offences against children are now a growing concern and therefore the government is now making the laws much stricter to ensure that children are protected.

How does child grooming occur?

A sexual offence solicitor will tell you that child grooming arises from children engaging in conversations with adults online and on other social media platforms. The sexual offender will target vulnerable children or those who are not sociable and will then manipulate them by befriending them and making them feel liked and cared for, therefore gaining the child’s trust. Once they have built this relationship of trust the adult will then start having more intimate conversations with the child and will ask the child to perform sexual activities on themselves and on others. The child will not usually understand what they are being asked to do and this may lead to them suffering mental health illnesses as they get older.

What does the child get forced to do?

The child will usually get forced by its perpetrator to touch him or herself inappropriately and show the perpetrator. This can either happen online or in person. Also the perpetrator may even ask the child to take photos of themselves performing sexual activities or ask for the sexual activities to be performed on them. In addition, the perpetrator may force the child to perform sexual activities on other children who are also similarly socially distanced from society.

What is the punishment for child grooming?

If a perpetrator is found guilty of child grooming then he can be given up to a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment. The length of time of the perpetrator’s sentence will depend on the severity of his conduct and also his previous criminal conduct.

Child grooming is an indictable offence which means that the lower courts do not have jurisdiction to pass sentence to the criminal; the case must be tried in a crown court or a higher court. There is most likely to be a jury who will also pass judgment and determine whether the criminal is guilty.

What are sexual offences?

An introduction to rape and sexual assault