How is the law on extreme pornography being policed? Who is being charged with extreme pornography offences? What is the most common type of pornography being prosecuted?
To find out the answers to these and many similar questions, my colleague Dr Hannah Bows and I made new Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to all police forces across England and Wales.
These are some of our findings:
What do we know of those who are accused of possessing extreme pornography?
- gender of accused: In 97% of cases, the accused was male.
- ethnicity of accused: in 71% of cases, the accused were white.
- Age of defendants: Men across all ages are being charged with extreme pornography offences. This is not an offence being committed only by young people sharing ‘gross’ images, engaging in ‘sexual experimentation’ or having greater internet use.
What types of extreme pornography are recorded and charged?
- Bestiality porn: Most recorded offences related to bestiality porn (85%).
- Rape pornography: Only 1% related to rape porn offences.
- Attrition: Overall, 71 per cent of recorded offences resulted in a charge.
- Additional offences charged:
- For cases where information on other offences was available, more than half involved another offence, of which most were other sexual offences.
We produced a preliminary analysis of the data for the inquiry into pornography being held by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual Violence. Our evidence submission is available here: APPG BowsMcGlynn FOI Evidence_