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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

Peterborough sexual abuse case

15/01/2014

Two men and three teenage boys have been convicted of charges of rape and sexual assault in one of the worst cases of child sexual abuse prosecuted by the CPS.

Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS East of England, Grace Ononiwu said: "The fact that eight individuals faced a total of 46 charges of sexual abuse, including some which carry maximum penalties of life imprisonment, demonstrates the extent and seriousness of the offending which was alleged against them.

"This case is one of the worst cases of child sexual abuse we have seen. The defendants all denied organising and controlling the abuse of five girls who were aged between 12 and 13 years old.

"One girl of 13 years who had learning difficulties, was particularly exploited, being forced to perform sexual acts with other males in exchange for money and threatening her if she refused. This is child sexual abuse at its worst, preying on the vulnerable for sexual gratification."

Zdeno Mirga, 18, one of the two men convicted, was identified by the prosecution as the ringleader of the group. He faced eight charges of rape, two charges of sexual activity with a child and one charge of causing or inciting child prostitution. Also convicted was Hassan Abdulla, 33, who faced four charges of rape, two charges of sexual activity with a child and three charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Dusan Mirga, 20, who was acquitted, faced one charge of rape, two charges of sexual activity with a child and one charge of assault by penetration. David Ziga, 19, who was acquitted, faced two charges of rape and one charge of sexual activity with a child.

Four teenagers faced a total of eight charges of rape; seven charges of sexual activity with a child; three charges of sexual assault; one charge of causing or inciting a sexual act with a child. One of the teenagers was acquitted.

Ms Ononiwu said: "I would like to pay tribute to the bravery of the young victims who gave evidence against their abusers and brought them to justice and thank the jury who had to make the decisions on each of the 46 separate charges and listen to some very graphic descriptions of what happened to the victims in this case.

"Tackling abuse of this kind is a priority for the CPS and more than ever we are now better equipped to build strong cases to bring those who abuse and exploit children before the courts. We will continue to work closely alongside the police and other agencies to provide extensive support for victims.

"I would encourage anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse to come forward and report it."

The two men and three teenage boys will be sentenced on 20 February.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are four national casework divisions: Central Fraud, Welfare Rural & Health, Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. A 'virtual' 14th Area is CPS Direct 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.
  3. At 31 March 2013 we employed a workforce of approximately 6840 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2350 prosecutors and 4110 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:  www.cps.gov.uk.
  4. The CPS, together with 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.