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     News: UK makes possessing violent pornography illegal

    Porn, Prostitution, Sex IndustryCracking down on violent pornography 30 August 2006 The possession of violent and extreme pornographic material is to become a criminal offence, punishable by up to three years in prison. Under new laws announced by Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker, it will be illegal to possess pornographic images depicting scenes of extreme sexual violence. This would include, for example, material featuring violence that appears to be life threatening. The proposals are part of the government's response to its consultation on the possession of violent and extreme pornographic material launched a year ago. It is already illegal in the UK to publish or distribute the material covered by the ban, but violent pornography has become increasingly accessible from abroad via the internet. The new law will ensure possession of violent and extreme pornography is illegal both on and offline. 'Deeply abhorrent' Mr Coaker pointed out that the vast majority of people find extreme pornography deeply abhorrent. He added, 'Such material has no place in our society, but the advent of the internet has meant that this material is more easily available and means existing controls are being bypassed - we must move to tackle this.' He pointed out that the government was supported on this issue by women’s and children's groups, as well as police forces. In addition, a petition signed by around 50,000 people objecting to the extreme websites that promote violence against women as sexual gratification, has been presented to Parliament.

    Jim Gamble, chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, said legislation is only effective if it changes along with technological advances. This legislation, he said, 'builds on the fundamentals of the Obscene Publications Act 1959, and helps take our fight against violent and extreme pornography to where it needs to be.' Three years' imprisonment possible The proposed new offence would carry a maximum penalty of three years in prison for possession of material depicting serious violence. The government is also proposing that the maximum penalty for the offences of publication, distribution and possession for gain, committed under the Obscene Publications Acts, should be increased from the current three years in prison to five. The government intends to legislate on this as soon as parliamentary time allows.
    The new offence will apply to England and Wales, and plans are being made to extend it to Northern Ireland.

    Associated Topics

    Sexual Violence

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