Memorandum submitted by Peter Barker (CJ&I 404)



Further to my letter of 19 October I understand that there is some urgency about submissions regarding the above Bill as it may be before the House of Commons in the next few days.


I refer to the concern which I expressed, that this Bill should include in the definition of "extreme pornography" the material currently covered by the British Board of Film Classification category R18. This includes portrayal of the penis penetrating vagina, anus, or mouth.


This is precisely the sort of thing that is liable to stimulate vulnerable people to commit acts of child abuse and sexual assault, sometimes leading to murder. If we are serious about protecting such vulnerable members of the public by criminalising possession of extreme pornography, such provocative material must be regarded as "extreme".


Under present regulations R18 material is freely available through sex shops so there is a lot of it around. Consequently if R18 material is included in this Bill there will have to be an amnesty to provide for it to be handed in within a specified period, and the British Board of Film Classification will have to be advised so that they can amend their R18 classification accordingly.


I and others with whom I am working firmly believe that the current Bill is the place to start.


I am still trying to locate a Parliamentary group specially concerned about pornography, and will let you know immediately I succeed.


Meanwhile I ask you please to bring my letter of 19 October and this letter to the attention of the sub-committee of MPs looking at this Bill, named in a parliamentary website as Edward Garnier, David Burrowed, and Nick Hurd.


Thank you for your continued efforts on behalf of vulnerable people.



November 2007