Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Crimes of indecency

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Certain laws are in place in Scotland to protect the welfare of children under the age of puberty. In Scotland and in the legal sense, puberty is at the age of 12 for girls and 14 for the age of males.


Definition: "A crime at common law for any person to indulge in indecent practises towards children under the age of puberty, whether they are consenting or not". Examples of this could include indecently exposing private parts of a female or male to young children, improper handling of the private parts of children, inducing children to handle the private parts of others and taking indecent photographs of children.

Statute offences

Section 6 of the Criminal Law (Consolidation)(Scotland) Act 1995 makes it an offence to show any lewd, indecent or libidinous behaviour towards a girl who is between the age of 12 and 16. If the female is under the age of 12, it would revert to the common law offence.

Public Indecency

Indecent conduct could be constituted as being criminal in some circumstances, e.g. indecent exposure, sexual intercourse in public view. Public could include almost anywhere, including the person's own home if it could be seen through an open window by a person outside. Determination of indecency will depend on the time and place. For example, certain sex theatre shows are not illegal as they are advertised as such and should therefore not be offensive to the public if in enclosed viewing. So long as the public as aware of the content of the show, it would not be regarded as public indecency.

Indecent Assault

Indecent assault is not a separate crime but is linked to the crime of assault where a person touches another person private parts without their consent. This offence is regarded as a common law crime.


Crimes of indecency Wikipedia

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