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However, there will be cases occasionally where it is clear, prior to the collection and consideration of all the likely evidence, that the public interest does not require a prosecution.
In these cases, prosecutors may decide that the case should not proceed further.
These guidelines are primarily concerned with offences that may be committed by reason of the nature or content of a communication sent via social media.
Where social media is simply used to facilitate some other substantive offence, prosecutors should proceed under the substantive offence in question.
those which may be considered grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false.
As a general approach, it will usually be in the public interest to prosecute cases falling within Categories 1, 2 or 3, where they satisfy the evidential stage of the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.
The section also explains the application of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights to Category 4 cases.
Having identified the category, prosecutors should follow the approach set out under the relevant heading below.
This test has two stages: the first is the requirement of evidential sufficiency and the second involves consideration of the public interest.
As far as the evidential stage is concerned, a prosecutor must be satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.
On the other hand, cases which fall within Category 4 will be subject to a high evidential threshold and in many cases a prosecution is unlikely to be in the public interest.
Detailed guidance on the approach to take in applying the public interest in Category 4 cases is provided in the section on Category 4 offences below.
Offences under the Contempt of Court Act 1981 or section 5 of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992 also require the consent of the Attorney General and may be sent to the DLA for his consideration if assistance is required.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating