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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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This is a commonly asked question and the answer is one that varies dependant on the nature of the sexual relationship. In order to obtain evidence of such offences, the co-operation of the child would be required both in terms of them talking about the sexual relationship and obtaining evidence by means of medical examination.

If the situation involves a child who appears to be exploited by an older person, all efforts to investigate these situations will be made in the hope that co-operation can be achieved and evidence gathered.

Where the relationship is between two 'consenting' people of a similar age (although they may not be able to consent in law), police intervention is unlikely as it is probable that the evidence needed would be very difficult to gather. The situation is probably to be one of education and support for the individuals, involving the help of other agencies, such as health professionals in the NHS or elsewhere (e.g. a school nurse or your G.P.).

Contact the Child Protection Unit (name may vary from force to force) at your local force for further help and advice. If you want to make a complaint of under age sex then contact your local police in the first instance; you can do so by telephoning 101.

You will first speak to a uniformed officer who will ask you/your child some general questions (you can ask to speak to an officer of a particular sex if that would be more comfortable for you).

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.