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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 70416
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Is it illegal to simply view indecent images of children on

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Is it illegal to simply view indecent images of children on the internet, without; saving them onto your hard drive, made, taken etc. the images?

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

In order to give you an answer tailored to your circumstances, I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

Have you been doing this long?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am not even sure if the images I have been viewing are illegal, but it has been an on and off thing for the past month or two. I haven't been convicted of anything, but it makes me feel very uncomfortable and I am currently in counselling, in order to overcome my problem.


Are they images of children for certain? They are prepubescent?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I would say most of them are of secondary school age. I am fairly certain as they are wearing school uniforms. Any images in which the individual(s) are certain to be under secondary school age I steer clear off.


To view an image there must normally be some downloading of some form?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Well if it's on a website and you just click on the image to view it, without intentionally saving it onto my computer, is that downloading? I'm really not sure, hence why I have decided to get professional legal help in the area.

Sorry I see what your question is. You are asking about the term "possession" and I know it is confusing.

Whenever you view an image online you have downloaded it. I realise that you haven't necessarily actually saved it to your pc but there is a level of downloading nonetheless. Obviously some downloading is more permanent than others and thats why the crown term to traced images to capture some people who are viewers rather than actually physical possessors.

If you are just viewing it is fair to say that its harder to prove against you than if they just find saved images on your devices. However, it can be done and as technology enhances it will be easier still.

If you haven't been caught so far and you stop now though the chances that anything would happen are low.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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