04/03/24

Cyberflashing | Online Safety Offences

Cyberflashing | Online Safety Offences
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Several preceding articles published to this website have concentrated upon new measures introduced by The Online Safety Act 2023 (‘the Act’) intended to improve Online Safety in the UK.

In this article Helen Holder focuses upon the offence of ‘Cyberflashing’ addressed by the insertion of section 66A into the Sexual Offences Act 2003. This addition aims to adapt existing legislation to better suit the demands of the digital era, thereby evolving the law to tackle modern challenges

The newly implemented law now makes it a criminal offence to send images or videos containing genitalia. This law was enforced for the first time on 12 February 2024, resulting in a successful prosecution. The offender is set to be sentenced in March 2024.

The New Law | Cyberflashing

Section 66A of the Act makes it an offence to intentionally send or give a photograph or film of any person’s genitals to another person if:

  • it is intended that the recipient will see the genitals and be caused alarm, distress, or humiliation, or
  • the sender does so for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification and is reckless as to whether the recipient will be caused alarm, distress, or humiliation.

What is meant by ‘send’?

Section 66(A)(2) states that the sending or giving of a photograph or film to another person includes:

  • sending it to the recipient by any means, electronically or otherwise,
  • showing it to another person, and
  • placing it for a particular person to find.

Accordingly, it is of note that, although introduced by the Act, the offence can be committed if the photograph or film is communicated otherwise than by electronic means.

Sentencing Upon Conviction

As an ‘either way’ offence it can be tried in the Magistrates’ Court or a Crown Court. Conviction in the Magistrates’ Court may result in a fine, imprisonment for a term not exceeding the general limit in a Magistrates’ Court or both.  

Conviction in the Crown Court may result in imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years. Additionally, an offender may be made subject to sexual offender notification requirements.

How Can We Help?

It is imperative that anybody accused of criminal conduct of any nature, including any sexual offence, should seek immediate professional guidance and legal advice.

The Team at KANGS appreciates the strain on individuals and their families when facing allegations of a sexual nature, and we are here to assist you to alleviate such difficulties and pressures.

Our Team would be delighted to hear from you and welcomes initial no-obligation enquiries by:

Email: info@kangssolicitors.co.uk

Telephone: 0330 370 4333

Hamraj Kang

Hamraj Kang
Senior Partner

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Helen Holder

Helen Holder
Partner

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Sukhdip Randhawa

Sukhdip Randhawa
Legal Director

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