Abuse of position for sexual purpose

14 April 2021

Not reviewed after the date of publication

Question: 

I am trying to find the offence of 'abuse of position for a sexual purpose' on PNLD and I can't seem to find it, could you please advise?

Answer:

Depending on the position of trust, the age of the victim and/or the vulnerability of the victim, offences under sections 16-19 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 in relation to abuse of position of trust, or offences under sections 38-41 of the Act in relation to care workers, may apply. Please see S528 on PNLD for links to these sections.

In absence of a specific vulnerability on the part of the victim, abuse of position for a sexual purpose is not a sexual criminal offence in itself. However, an offence of gross misconduct in public office may be committed.

Gross misconduct offences are outlined below:

H609 - Holder of a public office wilfully neglected to perform duty / wilfully misconducted himself / herself

H1140 - Conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office

If the offence relates to a police officer, abuse of position for a sexual purpose is regarded as serious corruption and all police forces must refer allegations of such to the IOPC.

Please also see below the following links for further information:

https://www.justiceinspectorates .gov.uk/hmicfrs/wp-content/uploads/abuse-of-position-for-a-sexual-purpose.pdf

https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/misconduct-public-office

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