According to the local police, it is not a crime if a 23-year-old man asks a 12-year- old child if she wants to have sex, via the internet.
They say it is only a crime if the adult sets up a meeting for the 'purposes of sex' . And says so.
If a male adult stopped a child in the street and asked her if she wanted to have sex with him, then he could presumably be arrested.
So why is internet communication any different? Other than the problem of proving who made the suggestion.
The law should be changed to protect the child's rights. If the balance of probability is that the adult made a sexual suggestion, then it should be appropriate for the police to act.
Why is this idea important?
To stop children from being groomed or harrassed over the internet. The public have rightly been outraged by children who have been subject to paedophile behaviour – or killed after this sort of contact.
It seems to me that because it is too costly – to get the name of the person making the suggestion, the police do not want to know. The reason is that a prevention of a crime no longer figures in crime statistics.
Civil rights (data protection) are therefore being decided for men who patrol the internet seeking out vulnerable children, rather than children. The balance should be redressed.