Indecent images of children
Indecent images of children

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Indecent images of children
  • The criminal offences
  • Offence: indecent photographs—Protection of Children Act 1978 section 1
  • Elements of the offence to take or make indecent offences
  • Meaning of 'to take or to make'
  • Meaning of 'permit to be taken'
  • Meaning of indecent
  • Meaning of 'distribute or show'
  • Meaning of 'to have in his possession... with a view to their being distributed or shown'
  • Meaning of 'publish or cause to be published'
  • More...

The criminal offences

The Protection of Children Act 1978 (PCA 1978), the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (CJA 1988) and the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (CJA 2009) govern the making, possession, publication and distribution of indecent images of children.

The offences created include:

  1. the taking, making, permitting to make or take, the possessing with a view to distributing, the publishing or causing to be published and the distributing or showing of indecent images of children (PCA 1978, s 1(1))

  2. the possession of an indecent photograph of a child (CJA 1988, s 160), and

  3. the possession of prohibited images of children (CJA 2009, s 62)

For information on the offence of possession of indecent images of children under CJA 1988, see Practice Note: Possession of indecent photographs of a child and prohibited images of children.

For information on the offence of possessing a paedophile manual under section 69 of the Serious Crime Act 2015, see Practice Note: Possession of indecent photographs of a child and prohibited images of children.

Offence: indecent photographs—Protection of Children Act 1978 section 1

It is an offence to:

  1. take, or permit to be taken or to make, any indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of a child (PCA 1978, s 1(1)(a))

  2. distribute or show indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs (PCA 1978, s 1(1)(b))

  3. have in their possession such indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs with a view to their being distributed

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