However, there seems to be little public guidance especially to young teenagers who may be experimenting, on what the law states is the correct age for 'cybersex' (Sexual talk online, via chartrooms, webcameras, text messages.) One would usually employ logic and reason to deduce that if it is ok in the eyes of the law for a 100 year old outside a position of trust to have consensual sex with a 16 year old, that the state would even marry the two and allow them to co-habitat in a rented council house and be taxed, that you would expect cyber sex to be set at 16 regardless of the age of the other, as long as he/she is 16 also; considering that English law can go against the known rules of logic and reason these days, I feel the police are best to clarify what the law states for others.
My question is therefore thus: A) Is it a criminal offence for an adult 18 outside a position of trust to engage in coessential adult cybersex with a 16 year old ?
The ages of consent are currently set between 14 and 18.
The vast majority of countries set their ages in the range of 14 to 16; only five countries, Cyprus (17), Ireland (17), Malta (18), Turkey (18) and Vatican City (18), do not fit into this pattern.
The United Kingdom has a large number of laws protecting children and guaranteeing them basic rights – both for areas in which there is now an ‘entitlement’ such as education, as well as in areas in which they need rights to ensure protection, such as in the criminal justice system.
Proving dating services online has some exciting, stimulating but also challenging and sensitive issues.
People are, by definition, looking to make new contacts, new friendships and new relationships.
Given the number and complexity of these laws this report provides a broad overview of legislation and common law as it applies to children’s rights in England and Wales only.
(PDF, 180KB) Within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, England and Wales is the component nation in which largely English law prevails.