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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

51 year sentence for men in Leeds child sexual exploitation case


Four men have today been sentenced at Leeds Crown Court to a total of 51 years for child sexual exploitation.

Tariq Islam (sentenced to 13 years), Nasir Sultan (12 years), Amir Zaman (11 years) and Zafar Iqbal (15 years) were sentenced for committing rape and other sexual offences against a child aged 12 to 14 between May 2010 and September 2012 and were convicted by a jury yesterday.

Also convicted of offences of a sexual nature were Arshid Younis, Abid Younis, Farahk Younis, Junaid Rashid, Shazabe Hussain, Zafar Iqbal and Awais Butt. They will be sentenced at a later date.

Andrew Penhale, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, CPS Yorkshire and Humberside said: "Ten individuals have been convicted of offences which involve a shocking catalogue of child sexual exploitation. The victim was targeted by older men precisely because of her youth and vulnerability. The offences involved an appalling breach of trust - the victim was groomed and plied with cigarettes, alcohol and drugs to make her compliant. The defendants then showed a complete lack of remorse for their actions, with ten of them claiming throughout the contested trial that the allegations were fabricated, or that they believed the victim to be over 16.

"The victim of these terrible crimes has shown immense courage, not only to make a complaint initially but to then give evidence in a long and complicated trial. The prosecution of these men could not have succeeded without her evidence. We hope that the convictions/sentences handed down today will help her to begin to rebuild her life.

"This was a complex and difficult matter to bring to court and prosecuting it has required extremely detailed and painstaking work. It demonstrates that the use of special measures such as screens or giving evidence over video-links, helps vulnerable victims of even the most horrifying sexual exploitation to give their account before a criminal court.

"The Crown Prosecution Service and West Yorkshire Police have the utmost determination to prosecute sexual abusers of children wherever we are able to and to support victims through the criminal justice process."


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 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.
  3. At 31 March 2014 we employed a workforce of approximately 6237 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2226 prosecutors and 3629 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:
  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.