Abstract

When an individual is in a position of trust over another person, the age of consent is raised from 16 to 18 in the United Kingdom. Currently, the definition of a Position of Trust is restricted to professions such as teachers, care workers and youth justice workers. Recent high-profile cases have contributed to a growing consensus amongst key stakeholders of the need to broaden this legislation to include other roles, such as a sports coach. This study represents the first investigation into the number of concerns recorded by local authorities across England and Wales regarding sexual relationships between a person who is in a potential Position of Trust which is not currently covered by the legislation and someone who was aged 16 or 17 years old. Freedom of Information Requests resulted in full responses from 142 out of the 172 local authorities. A total of 653 cases were recorded over a 4-year period. The most prevalent of the identified roles were related to sport, however, roles related to religion, youth work, transport and uniform services were also cited. Regional differences regarding the number of cases recorded are highlighted and the implications of these findings are discussed.

Keywords

Position of Trust Power Coaches Legislation

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