What Does the Law Say?


    The Law

  • Your child has the right to be safe and happy.
    What are the consequences to those who violate this?

  • Careless Driving

    In law careless driving is defined as driving without due care and attention and without consideration for other persons. Many different scenarios can be construed as such, from causing an accident due to a distraction such as smoking or altering the radio, or an accident in which no one else was present, to undertaking and driving through a red light.

    The penalty for careless and inconsiderate driving.

    If a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place, he is guilty of an offence.

    The possible punishments for careless driving include a fine of up to £5000, 3-9 penalty points and, in serious cases, a disqualification from driving





    The severity of the offence, determines where the charge will be heard.

    Summary Offences:

    These are charges that can only be heard in a Magistrates Court

    Either way offences:

    These are offences which can either be heard in a Magistrates Court or a  Crown Court.

    Indictable offences:

    These are offences that can only be heard in a Crown Court.

  • Dangerous Driving

    There are two definitions of dangerous driving;

    1. driving that would be considered to fall far below the standard of a competent and safe driver.
    2. that the state of the car is dangerous, regardless of the competency of the driving.

    A person who drives a mechanically propelled vehicle dangerously on a road or other public place is guilty of an offence.

    If taken to court the punishments could be as follows:

    Crown Court – Maximum 2 years prison sentence, unlimited fine, mandatory disqualification and an extended driving test to regain your licence

    Magistrates Court – Maximum 6 months prison sentence, £5000 fine and disqualification from driving

  • Distraction Burglary

    In many cases an individual will deceive another to gain access to the premises by impersonating an individual who represents a water, gas or electricity supplier.  This is distraction burglary.

    What is the likely sentence for an individual convicted of burglary? Under Section 9 of the Theft Act the maximum sentence that an individual convicted of burglary will be provided with is as follows:

    14 years – when the building is a dwelling


  • Home Alone

    What the law says

    The law does not set a minimum age at which children can be left alone. However, it is an offence to leave a child alone when doing so puts him or her at risk.

    How to decide if you can safely leave a child alone

    There are many important things to consider before you decide to leave a child alone.

    These include:

    • the age of the child
    • the child's level of maturity and understanding
    • the place where the child will be left
    • how long and how often the child will be left alone
    • whether or not there are any other children with the child.

    For example, most parents would think it is okay to leave a 16-year-old alone for the evening. But to leave them for a week would be unacceptable.

  • Many young children play outdoors with other children without supervision, most people would agree that this is an important part of growing up. To leave children outdoors for a considerable length of time though, or to allow them to wander off without knowing where they are going, would be unacceptable.

    You are the best judge of your child's level of maturity and responsibility. Read the NSPCC Home alone leaflet for more information.

    Home alone: your guide to keeping your child safe

    This leaflet gives sound advice and useful tips to help parents decide in what situations they may leave their children home alone, and what they need to do to ensure their child's safety and wellbeing.

  • Abduction

    The Criminal Offence

    Offence of abduction of child by other persons.

    He / she commits an offence if, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, he/she takes or detains a child under the age of sixteen—

    (Contrary to Child Abduction Act 1984)

    Penalty: Summary 6 months imprisonment and or fine

    Indictment 7 years imprisonment

  • RAPE

    A defendant, is guilty of rape if:

    • A intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of B (the complainant) with his penis;
    • B does not consent to the penetration; and,
    • A does not reasonably believe that B consents

    Sexual Offences Act 2003.

    This is punishable with life imprisonment

  • Sexual offence with a child

    A person aged 18 or over commits an offence if;

    • he/she intentionally touches another person
    • the touching is sexual, and includes touching through clothes


    • B is under 16 and A does not reasonably believe that B is 16 or over, 
    • B is under 13.

    A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable;

    • on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both
    • on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years


  • Robbery

    • A person is guilty of robbery if he steals, and immediately before or at the time of doing so, and in order to do so, he uses force on any person or puts or seeks to put any person in fear of being then and there subjected to force.

    • A person guilty of robbery, or of an assault with intent to rob, shall on conviction on indictment be liable to imprisonment for life.

    Theft Act 1968 section 8