CPS guidelines rolled out amid escalating rage
New guidelines issued by Crown Prosecution Service call for 14 years of jail term for online ‘revenge pornography’, which involves uploading personal photographs or video, including graphic sexual activity, as revenge against ex-partners.
Announced in the midst of escalating rage over a ‘nasty and invasive crime’, the new policy provides prosecutors with clarity on the use of appropriate laws to deal with revenge pornography.
According to the new guidelines, the cases of ‘revenge pornography’ will be considered on the intensity of obscenity involved in the message or communication rather than on the image itself.
A charge of harassment needs to be considered in cases where there is more than one incident, or the incident forms part of a course of conduct directed towards an individual.
A CPS spokesman said: "No one should have to suffer the hurt and humiliation of ‘revenge pornography’ – a nasty and invasive crime that appears, anecdotally at least, to have increased as social media use has gone up.
"The CPS prosecutes these cases using a range of current laws, and we have now clarified our legal guidance to set out clearly how these cases should be brought to court.
"The public, and indeed those intent on attacking former partners in this way, can now see clearly that this is a crime that can and will be prosecuted."
The new rules are expected to lead to rising numbers of trials by boosting lawyers’ confidence in addressing the issue.
However, the cases have to comply with evidential stage in the Full Code Test of the Code for Crown Prosecutors, and then would be considered to be in the public interest.
Spokesman added: "Due to the very personal nature of ‘revenge pornography’ prosecutors are being asked specifically to consider the impact on the victims involved.
"The new guidance also makes clear that the context of each case needs to be considered alongside current guidelines to ensure that the most appropriate legislation is used when prosecuting."
CPS has said that the Parliament would decide if new laws or changes in the existing laws are needed to be made.