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Reports of Child Sexual Abuse up by 14%, says CEOP

Figures produced by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre reveal that in 2012/2013 the child protection agency dealt with 18,887 reports of abuse. This represents a 14% increase on the previous year, with an average of 1,600 reports each month.

The figures also show that, over the same period, CEOP safeguarded and protected 790 children – an increase of 85% on the previous year, and the highest yearly figure since the Centre launched in 2006. In the seven years since the launch, CEOP has protected a total of 2,255 children.

The Centre warns that new trends in child sexual offending, and the growing availability of high-speed internet around the globe, are likely to increase the threat to children.

As part of its Centre Plan, CEOP has set out four key threat areas where it will focus its activity in the forthcoming year.

They are:

  • proliferation of unlawful images of children;
  • online child sexual exploitation;
  • transnational child sexual abuse – including both transient and resident UK nationals and British citizens committing sexual offences abroad; and
  • contact child sexual abuse.

CEOP is due to become part of the National Crime Agency in October 2013.

"Moving into the National Crime Agency as one of the four commands, the Centre will play a pivotal role in sharing our expertise in protecting children," said CEOP Chief Executive Peter Davies. "The Agency will also be able to use specialist resources and knowledge to ensure that children are even safer in the future - not just here in the UK, but also abroad working with our international partners."

Contact Lewis Nedas' Criminal Lawyers in London

For specialist legal advice please contact our solicitors Jeffrey Lewis or Siobhain Egan on 020 7387 2032 or complete our online enquiry form here.

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Should I Accept a Criminal Caution?

This is one of the most common questions that our team of leading criminal lawyers are asked, particularly by anxious parents.

The Guardian (13 May 2013) leads with an article stating that the Metropolitan Police have administered cautions for 25% of all recorded crimes last year, including allegations of rape, indecent assault, GBH, violent attacks, robbery, and drug trafficking. All this, despite the fact that Damien Green, our current Minister for the Police, has promised a review of police cautioning after the Magistrates' Association published a damming report on the abuse of police cautions last year.

Very often these cautions are administered to young people or first offenders who do not realise that they will have to live with the consequences of accepting a caution. Less than 50% of arrestees seek legal advice and are unaware that the evidence of the allegation against them is untested or that they may have a defence e.g. self-defence to an allegation of assault or abandonment to one of theft. Not only that but the Police, struggling with budget cuts and targets, are keen to offer cautions as a way of clearing up crime rates and avoiding complex and costly legal proceedings where the evidence may not be as strong as initially thought.

Simple Cautions

These are solely at the discretion of the Police and possibly the CPS (though increasingly the police do not consult the CPS on these issues). They are supposed to be administered for minor offences, but see above.

To accept a caution the following must apply:

  1. You must be over 18 years of age;
  2. There must be evidence that you are guilty;
  3. You must have admitted the offence;
  4. You must agree to be given a caution.

Cautions are generally given to first time offenders but we have seen repeat offenders given a number of cautions.

Conditional Cautions

These are cautions with conditions attached, such as:

  1. An element of rehabilitation e.g. addressing drink/drug problems or anger management issues;
  2. Allowing you to make reparation to the victim;
  3. The application of a fine.

If you or your child is facing such a situation, it is imperative to speak to top criminal lawyers such as ourselves for immediate advice. We know exactly what questions to ask of the Police about the quality of the evidence, or perhaps about your physical/mental state, to ensure that the acceptance of a caution is the correct disposal for you.

It is vital to remember that although a caution is not a criminal conviction, you will have a criminal record which will follow you. It can affect your education, your job, your family and your career.

Cautions will become 'spent' in time but most employers and/or professional associations ask if you have ever had a caution. Forget about a career in finance if you have a caution for dishonesty, even one that is many years old and administered when you were a young person.

Contact any one of our expert criminal lawyers for advice.

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City of London Fraud Arrest 7 on Pension Liberation Fraud Allegations – by Siobhain Egan

After a joint high profile campaign (including agencies such as HMRC, the Pensions Regulator, the FCA, the SFO and SOCA) seven people were arrested yesterday by City of London fraud police.

Essentially, the authorities are of the view that alleged pension liberation frauds are another manifestation of the 'boiler room fraud', and claim that since 2008 over £400 million has been defrauded.

Pension liberation schemes are not illegal per se; essentially it is the transfer of a pension scheme member's savings to an arrangement that will allow access to the funds before the age of 55 years.

The authorities are of the view that because of the dire economic climate in this country, pension scheme members are tempted to release funds, e.g. to help their offspring with deposits for homes etc.

Allegations of fraud arise when members are misled about the consequences of such a transfer, e.g. not told about fees, tax liabilities, or how the remainder of the pension funds are invested.

Often loans are raised against the pension schemes or the monies are moved to an unregulated scheme (i.e. not registered to HMRC and the Pension Regulator), often to an offshore vehicle. The liberation company often charges a fee of between 20% and 30% and HMRC will tax any sums released.

The other aspect to pension liberation is that the taxes that HMRC will apply to the released funds are anything between 55% and 70%.

Contact Jeffrey Lewis if you have any problems concerning this issue.

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2193 Hits

Yet another Acquittal for LNL Criminal Lawyers!

Our own excellent in house barrister Danny Barnard secured yet another Crown Court acquittal for an individual facing a very serious firearms allegation.

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New Instructions for LNL Criminal Lawyers

Penny Muir has been instructed in two criminal cases. She is representing one of eleven defendants facing a conspiracy to supply class A drugs, and another client facing a serious dishonesty conspiracy.

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1761 Hits

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