Sara Bedford raised an interesting point yesterday regarding can consensual sex with an eighteen year old land you on the Sex offenders register. It ties in a little with my post on Friday regarding the SNP's policy proposal to equalise criminalisation for underage consenting teens.
We've often heard that our police are overstretched man powerwise. They have to deal with the terrorist threat, knife crime, plus all manner of other eventualities. They are getting tied down with more and more paper work. Now as Sara pointed out it is highly possible for someone in their early to mid 20s to fall in love with someone aged 18 who may still be at school, heck even I did. Yes there are issues if that person is a pupil at the school where the elder partner is working. But is it a criminal offence?
What if that person as a 20 year old education student fell in love with a 16 year old and then the only placement they could get upon graduating was at the school where that person was now 18 and studying for Highers or A' levels? Would suddenly that relationship that was not a criminal offence between two young people become criminalised when they sought their first employment. As with other workplace relationships if they pre-exist working in the same place can anyone really legislate against them.
While I agree that a school should set guidelines and employment guidelines about liaisons between staff and pupils, if both are above the age of consent then no criminal offence should be deemed to have taken place. The employer may chose to discipline the member of staff for breaking their terms of employment but legally they are not a paedophile or rapist who needs constant supervision, surely.
They are obviously laws in place to protect unwanted, underage and non-consensual sexual activity. But if none of those laws are broken and the relationship could have existed in another situation without an legal ramifications then adding to the sex offenders register is not the way to go. As I argued with the case for two 13-15 teenagers a little bit of common sense is required as to what is in the best interests health, wealth and future wise of those involved. Making something a crime isn't always the best way to resolve, solve or deal with a situation.