Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act 1955

The UK's Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act 1955 prevents the dissemination of certain pictorial publications harmful to children and young persons. Websites and other electronic publications need to take care...

The Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act 1955 prevents the dissemination of certain pictorial publications harmful to children and young persons.

The Act applies to books, magazines and other similar publications (including electronic books and other similar online media) which contain stories portraying—

(a) the commission of crimes; or

(b) acts of violence or cruelty; or

(c) incidents of a repulsive or horrible nature;

and which corrupt children or young people in whose hands they are likely to fall.


Penalty


A person who prints, publishes, sells or lets on hire a work to which the Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act 1955 applies, or has any such work in his possession for the purpose of selling it or letting it on hire, shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding four months or to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale or to both.


Defences under the Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act


It is a defence for a person to prove that he had not examined the contents of the work prior to its sale or hiring out, and had no reasonable cause to suspect that it was a work to which this Act applies.

For further information on the prosecution of obscene publications, please refer to the Guidelines published by the Crown Prosecution Service


Reference


Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act 1955

UK/1955/C/28