Reckless endangerment of children

The Criminal Justice Act 2006 provides for a new offence of reckless endangerment of children. This came into effect on 1 August 2006.

This offence may be committed by a person who has authority or control over a child or an abuser and who intentionally or recklessly endangers a child by:

  • Causing or permitting any child to be placed or left in a situation which creates a substantial risk to the child of being a victim of serious harm or sexual abuse or
  • failing to take reasonable steps to protect a child from such a risk while knowing that the child is in such a situation.

This offence may be prosecuted only by the Director of Public Prosecutions. The penalty is a fine (no upper limit) and/or a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.

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