CHILDREN engaged in sexual activity have been warned they could be charged under the Crimes Decree, says Police Chief of Intelligence and Investigations, Assistant Commissioner of Police Biu Matavou.
He made the comment after a 17-year-old boy was charged with one count of defilement after he was found with a 15-year-old girl who had been reported missing since last week.
The young man appeared in the Lautoka Magistrates Court yesterday. "Despite the fact that victim and accused were involved in a relationship, it must be noted that it is an offence to be with a person under the age of 18 years without the parent's consent and therefore one could face the possibility of being charged with abduction, an offence in the Crimes Decree," said ACP Matavou.
ACP Matavou urged parents and guardians to talk to their children. "If they are involved in a sexual relationship and under the age of 16 and in the event the police are alerted, do know that a crime is being committed and possible charges could be defilement of children for those under 13 years or defilement of young persons for those between 13 and 16 years." ACP Matavou said investigations into reports of missing persons who were under the age of 18 would be focused on whether the teenagers were involved in sexual relations. "This is because we have found most of the missing persons are found with either their boyfriend or girlfriend, so there is a need to discuss the matter that certain so-called leisure activities could result in criminal charges."