The law criminalising the possession of extreme pornography, first enacted in 2008 and amended to include rape pornography in 2015, continues to generate considerable controversy and calls for reform. In order to inform these ongoing discussions, we undertook a study to find out information about who is being charged with extreme pornography offences and their characteristics in terms of gender, age and ethnicity, as well as data on the specific type of pornography forming the subject matter of those charges. Utilising freedom of information requests, our study provides valuable new information to help inform debates over the policing of extreme pornography across England and Wales. Overall, we found that the vast majority of those charged were white men across all age groups; that bestiality images formed the most common basis for charging and that, in respect of the data provided, the majority of charges were brought together with other sexual offences.
McGlynn, C., & Bows, H. (2019). Possessing Extreme Pornography: policing, prosecutions and the need for reform. Journal of Criminal Law, 83(6), 473-488. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022018319877783