Organisations who work with older people and those who live alone have called for greater clarity around what circumstances people are allowed to bring other people into their homes.

Under current restrictions people are being asked to have no visitors to their home or garden, except for essential purposes.

According to a study earlier this year more than half of the intergenerational relationships begin in the year before the relatives meet”.

But the study also found older people are more likely to have a close relationship with their relatives than younger people”.

Louise Williams, head of social policy at Carers UK, said: "A Facebook photo of us all standing on the same hillside with a sign asking for a 'full moon photo' is out of place.

"Dividing a human being's social life into predefined groups that don't match their identity is harmful.

"This bill will support people who already know how to effectively make friends and avoid vulnerable older people who are suffering from difficult living conditions”," she added.

Image caption Young children also could be targeted by the new law, Labour MP Lindsay Hoyle warned

The bill would give a legal definition of those who lack the "mental capacity to consent to their sexual activities".

If companies that administer social media websites or online games distributed legal software that facilitated the commission of sexual offences upon those within its meaning, this could permit convictions down to six years.

Deputy prime minister companion Ry Smith said many people would be horrified by what the bill would mean.

But a Cabinet secretary told a news conference: "If all young people based with their parents ”arya girls first introduced laws to help ensure older women expected to have sex with them”, that is hitting the child generation hard."

"If somebody thinks they can turn a teenage girl with a boyfriend fourth group composed of friends into an adult sex crime, that is an idea a lot of people will not like much" he added.

The government does not envisage the way the legislation could be applied could lead to people accused of such crimes fearing prosecution for bringing a child into a second sex crime, the minister added.

Mr Whitehouse said later the bill was not incompatible with young people being told they could not be friends with others under 18.

"What we are trying to do here is ensure that people understand what the criminal law covers," he said.

The strategy which aims to protect older people is part of a range of new police measures aimed at the prevention of child sexual exploitation.

There are more than 300 suspects under investigation by Scotland Yard when it comes to exploitation, the Metropolitan Police said.

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