Indecency with Children Act 1960

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Indecency with Children Act 1960
Long title An Act to make further provision for the punishment of indecent conduct towards young children, and to increase the maximum sentence of imprisonment under the Sexual Offences Act 1956, for certain existing offences against young girls.
Citation C.33
Territorial extent England and Wales
Royal assent 2 June 1960
Commencement 2 July 1960
Other legislation
Repealed by Sexual Offences Act 2003
Relates to Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000
Sexual Offenders Act 1985
Criminal Justice Act 1967 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
Status: Repealed
Text of statute as originally enacted
Text of the Indecency with Children Act 1960 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from

The Indecency with Children Act 1960 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that expanded English criminal law in relation to sexual acts with minors. The Act made it a crime to incite or commit an "act of gross indecency" with somebody under the age of fourteen. It was repealed by the Sexual Offences Act 2003.


The Act came about as the result of the First Report of the Criminal Law Revision Committee, which examined the flaw in criminal law relating to indecent assaults against children. Under the law as it then stood, there was no "indecent assault" unless there was some form of threat or show of force to the victim, and the Act was intended to close this gap. The Act came into force on 2 July 1960, and Section 1 made it an offence to commit or incite an "act of gross indecency" with somebody under the age of fourteen. The infractor was liable to imprisonment for up to two years on conviction after indictment, and six months or a fine of £100 for a summary conviction.[1] These figures were amended by Statutory Instruments in 2000, which increased the imprisonment for conviction after indictment to ten years, or two years for a summary conviction. The fine for a summary conviction was increased by the Criminal Justice Act 1967 to £400.[2]

Section 2 of the Act increased the punishment for committing incest with a girl under the age of thirteen to seven years in prison for sexual intercourse or attempted sexual intercourse, and five years for indecent assault.[3] This section was repealed by the Sexual Offences Act 1985.[4] The Act as a whole was repealed by the Sexual Offences Act 2003.[5]


  1. ^ Downey (1962) p.60
  2. ^ Criminal Justice Act 1967 s.92 Sch.3 Pt.I
  3. ^ Downey (1962) p.61
  4. ^ Sexual Offences Act 1985 s.5(3)
  5. ^ "Lexis Library: Document (subscription needed)". LexisNexis. Retrieved 2009-10-26.