Sexual Offences Act 2003

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The Sexual Offences Act 2003 is an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom, passed in 2003. It came into force on May 1, 2004.

It replaces other sexual offences laws with more specific ones, with more specific and explicit wording. It creates several new offences, such as non-consensual voyeurism, zoophilia and necrophilia.

The Act has faced criticism because it outlaws consensual "sexual hugging" in public places or by underage persons, even when both participants are under age. The law is unique since neither the Home Office nor the Police have any intention of policing the offences nor prosecuting them except in extreme circumstances. This does not change much: underage sex by teenagers has never been actively pursued by either the Police or the Crown Prosecution Service.

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