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Crimes involving young people

Young people as victims and witnesses

Being a victim or a witness to a crime is not easy, but we work hard to bring offenders to justice. Throughout the justice process we will support young victims and witnesses and treat them with dignity.

Find out more about how we support young victims and witnesses

Youth crime

The Crown Prosecution Service acts in partnership with other agencies such as the police, the youth justice board, children's services, courts and youth offending teams. Each area of the CPS has a youth justice specialist who oversees the prosecution of youth crime in their area.

Find out more about how we prosecute youth crime

Sexual Offences

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 updated the law, much of which dated back to 1956.

The main provisions of the Act include the following:

  • Rape is widened to include oral penetration
  • Significant changes to the issue of consent
  • Specific offences relating to children under 13, 16 and 18
  • Offences to protect vulnerable persons with a mental disorder
  • Other miscellaneous offences
  • Strengthening the notification requirements and providing new civil preventative orders

Find out more about how we prosecute sexual offences

Ex-Bedfordshire PC sentenced for sexual offences


An ex-Bedfordshire Police Constable, Mohammad Arshad, 35, was today sentenced at St Albans Crown Court to 15 years for 17 sexual offences against teenagers, including one offence of rape, several of sexual activity with a child, causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and meeting a child following sexual grooming. The offences were in relation to 12 teenage girls.

Amanda Sawetz, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service said, "Mohammad Arshad, formerly a Police Constable for Bedfordshire Police, groomed young and vulnerable girls, approached them through their friends and their social networks and systematically offered them money in exchange for sexual favours.

"The jury heard that his modus operandi was to make contact with the young girls on social media through Blackberry messenger, Facebook or Whatsapp. He gave the name of 'Waz', sometimes lying about his age, saying that he was 17 or 26 years old. He would sometimes use the fact that he was a police officer to gain the girls' trust but would reveal quite quickly to each of them his sexual intentions. On one occasion he raped a 14 year old girl he had taken for a drive.

"We would like to thank all the young girls who gave evidence in this case and supported the prosecution. They did nothing wrong and were preyed upon by Arshad who used their innocence and vulnerability to commit his criminal acts."


The offences were committed between 2010 and December 2014. Mohammad Arshad was charged in total with 22 sexual offences. He was convicted of 17 of 22 charges.

Mohammad Arshad applied to Bedfordshire Police in 2013, was interviewed in January 2014 and joined on 14 April 2014. He was then on probation. He was suspended in October 2014 and then resigned.


Notes to Editors

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  3. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three national casework divisions: Specialist Fraud (formerly Central Fraud and Welfare, Rural & Health Divisions), Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. CPS Direct is a 'virtual' 14th Area which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
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  5. The CPS, together with police representatives (formerly ACPO) and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.