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Changes to sex offenders register may be unlawful

Changes to the sex offender register may be unlawful

May - guilty of pointless, political posturing

The government’s proposed changes to the notification requirements for UK sex offenders (Sex Offenders Register) may be unlawful. can reveal that the lack of independence and impartiality of the police, the retrospective nature of any changes that may be made and claims that the requirements are disproportionate are, according to reliable sources, all under scrutiny by senior lawyers.

The ‘register’ was introduced in 1997 and the notification requirements to which sex offenders have to adhere have become increasingly draconian and severe between then and now as an endless stream of politicians have tried to enhance their own reputations by playing to the tabloids and public ignorance.

Although being on the register is not regarded as an additional punishment it is in effect an extention to the original sentence as the failure to provide police with personal details is a breach of the law and carries a criminal penalty of up to 5 years imprisonment. Furthermore, anyone sentenced to more than 30 months for a sexual offence is placed on the register for life, regardless of their individual character or actual risk factors.

The original notification requirements in the act were regarded as being both reasonable and proportionate. Since its introduction however, successive Home Secretaries, notably David Blunkett, John Reid and Jacqui Smith have tried to benefit themselves by promising to ‘outdo’ each other in being “tough on sex offenders”. As a result, the requirements have become more and more odious, intrusive and quite clearly politically motivated.

Changes to the register have been made in typically “knee jerk” fashion as a result of a succession of events over the last 14 years. These have included the return to the UK of Gary Glitter, the murder of Sarah Payne, the murders of Holly and Jessica Wells as well as a barrage of noise from the child protection industry and children’s charities who are fighting for their own financial survival.

The introduction of the so-called “Sarah’s Law”, named after Sarah Payne and championed by none other than Rebekah Brooks when she was editor of the News of the World and Sun newspapers, only succeeded because home secretaries, prime ministers and weak MPs were too frightened of the tabloid press to say no its its introduction.

The discredited former Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith increased the duration of the various civil orders relating to sex offenders, all of which carry criminal penalties should they be breached, from six months to 5 years with absolutely no intervention from MPs whatsoever and very little scrutiny by Parliament.

Now in a cynical attempt to show that she is in charge and not the Supreme Court,  we have the current Home Secretary, Theresa May who is planning to introduce even more stringent measures, again by means of Statutory Instrument which means that there will be little or no scrutiny of the new requirements by Parliament.

Although some other countries within the European Union have some kind of register for convicted sex offenders, no other country operates a system such as that found in the UK. Indeed, France, Italy and Germany amongst others have stated in the European Parliament that they regard the manner in which the UK sex offenders register is operated as being unlawful and contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights.

The various European courts have previously regarded the UK notification requirements as being an administrative measure, not a punitive procedure or additional punishment and up till now at least, not unlawful. However, the court also made it clear that should the manner in which the register is operated in the UK become punitive or be perceived to be punitive, then its lawfulness may well be questioned.

Last April the UK Supreme Court ruled that sex offenders must be given the opportunity to apply for their names to be removed from the register and therefore from the notification requirements. In an almost hysterical response in the House of Commons, Theresa May announce her intention to do the “minimum possible” to comply with the ruling.

This expression of disdain for the Supreme Court’s ruling, swiftly echoed by the Prime Minister, David Cameron illustrated the contempt with which these two senior politicians regarded the ruling of the highest court in the land. At the time, many MPs were seeking to provoke a battle between Parliament and the courts following a European ruling on the voting rights of prisoners.

Seeking to cash in on the political mood present at the time, both the Home Secretary and Prime Minister revelled in the tabloid support for their view and took every opportunity to suck up to the many MPs who were seeking to jump on the bandwagon by expressing false, over the top indignation and condemnation of sex offenders.

Given that the current notification requirements bear no resemblance whatsoever to those introduced by the 1997 Act and given the fact that even sex offenders who have completed their sentence and had been living in the community in an exemplary manner for many years are still being ghettoised by the government, it is hardly surprising that very senior lawyers are waking up to the fact that the government’s administration of the sex offender register may now be verging on the unlawful.

While sex offenders have become a political football to be kicked around by politicians whenever they are in political difficulties and by the tabloid press in order to sell more copies of their cheap and tacky newspapers, none of the more stringent measures introduced since 1997 have done anything at all to decrease the likelihood of re-offending by sex offenders or indeed to reduce the number of sex offences committed.

Any chance of sensible and reasonable debate regarding sex offenders in the UK is smothered at birth by the tabloids and politicians who are too afraid to admit that whatever measures are introduced and whatever negative and ill-informed publicity is allowed to be put out, the facts show that sex offenders do not re-offend anywhere near as often as portrayed by the government or the media. has made the point before that every society needs its monsters on which to vent its collective anger. The Americans had the Communists, the Tudors had the Catholics, the Nazis had the Jews, the Communists had the Capitalists and today’s Britain has Sex Offenders. There always has to be someone to kick in order to make up for the inadequacies of one’s own life.

The country with the toughest regulations of all with regard to sex offenders in the community is of course the United States of America. The increasing and ever more severe requirements have caused sex offenders to be found living under flyovers and on rough ground as they are not allowed anywhere near schools, residential areas or anywhere else where even a single child may be found.

The end result of these restrictions has been social disaster with families being split up, children being bullied and harassed at school and even committing suicide once their peers have discovered that their father is a sex offender.

As in the UK, politicians have secured cheap, populist votes by bashing sex offenders as often as possible. The cost of the American system runs into billions of dollars every year yet the number of sex offences continues to rise, as it does in Britain, not least because more and more laws have been introduced to criminalise more and more people for more and more actions that were not previously offences.

The Home Secretary, Theresa May needs to tread very carefully if she is not to make matters worse than they are already. Whilst everybody would agree that truly dangerous sex offenders living in the community need to be monitored closely, the fact is that very few sex offenders attempting to live ordinary lives are actually anywhere near as dangerous as politicians, policemen, probation officers, children’s charities and newspapers would suggest.

Every single one of those groups listed above has a very clear vested interest in maintaining public fear of anyone ever convicted of a sexual offence.

What is certain is that public ignorance of the truth regarding sex offenders and the notion that they are all “dangerous” is in itself one of the biggest dangers to a cohesive society as that puerile mentality can easily be transferred by politicians to other offenders, such as those convicted of domestic violence.

By treating sex offences differently to all other crimes, successive governments have mislead the public as to the facts surrounding the ‘fiends’ and ‘monsters’ so beloved by the tabloids. As a result, we now have a country where adults are frightened of children, children believe that all adults are dangerous and parents believe that there is a paedophile on every street corner. Teachers will not discipline pupils for fear of false allegations and fathers will not hug their own children.

The truth of that statement is demonstrated by the fact that the government now wants to introduce a register for those convicted of domestic violence along similar lines to that introduced so many years ago for sex offenders. Once again, no politician wants to argue against it for fear of being criticised. Where then are the registers for burglars, muggers and the drug dealers whose ‘products’ frequently kill people?

In 1999 there were 3,000 people on the UK sex offenders register; now there are 50,000 and that number increases significantly every year. Nor does the register contain only stereotypical, middle-aged men in dirty raincoats. Up to 30% of those on the register are now under 18 and many are younger than 13. These young people’s lives are already over under the current regime. One should not be surprised therefore if they feel bitter towards society as they grow up and take what they regard as appropriate action against the rest of us. sincerely hopes that serious challenges are brought to both the proposed changes to the register and indeed the existing notification requirements. Protecting the public is one thing but making any one sector of the community a scapegoat for all the ills of society is something else.

The best way to protect society from those who have been convicted of sexual offences, many of whom have already paid their debt to society, finished their sentence years ago and are not hurting anyone, is to genuinely reintegrate them into British society, allow them to work and pay taxes and take a full part in community life.

In 10 years time there are likely to be 100,000 sex offenders, register and as time goes on, that number will increase to 250,000, then 500,000 and eventually 1,000,000. By that time there will be endless streams of people wandering down to their local police station on a daily basis to inform the police of the minutiae of their life.

Segregation of a particular group of people within society has been tried before and it failed miserably. If you remember, it reached its peak in 1945 with 6 million people being gassed to death. They were hated by society every bit as much as sex offenders are hated in Britain today.

The behaviour of the government of Germany at that time has rightly been reviled the world over. Now, we are seeing a similar revulsion growing in America to the politicians who insist on treating sex offenders like animals, claiming they are all dangerous and can never change – which in many cases is totally untrue – and who use every opportunity to make political capital.

The British government must not go the same way. Instead, it must introduce a measure of common sense into the way in which sex offenders are managed in the UK.

It must be courageous enough to open an honest debate and it must take every opportunity to integrate those who have served their often very long sentences back into society. In doing so, they will give value to the lives of those concerned and the risk that released sex offenders may pose to others in the community will be significantly reduced  – and probably reduced permanently.

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67 Responses to Changes to sex offenders register may be unlawful

  1. duncan
    May 6, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    I’m currently trying to help someone who suffers from chronic depression and has got himself in a bit of a mess – around 2003/04 accepted responsibility for dowloading images and luckily received a non custodial sentence a rather vague SOPO and an indeterminate requirement to ‘sign’ the SOR. – As far as I can see – the solicitors he has dealt with over the years have very little knowledge of the law regarding ‘sex crimes’ (the last one cost around £200 and basically said try again later). Is there anyone, anywhere that can help??

    • duncan
      May 7, 2018 at 1:44 pm

      Looking round I find a table – Sex Offenders Act 1997 – which says that basically a non custodial sentence for a conviction should have SOPO and SOR for five years and not an indeterminate period as we were told by the Crown Court via solicitor – Can anyone advise please?

  2. Annonymous
    June 18, 2017 at 12:36 am

    I am a convicted sex offender from Essex. I was caught with hundreds of indecent images of minors. My offence was completely an online one, meaning that I downloaded the images and then deleted them. I have never and will not ever harm anybody physically.

    As a result of my conviction, the case reached the press and I lost my job, my family and was made homeless. I am now living in a hostel as I write this message.

  3. Worried EU-citizen
    December 10, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Does anyone know how it works if i get put on the Sex Offenders Register for say 10 years for example, i’m a Swedish citizen but live in the UK, (i.e Swedish passport), Would i be able to move back home to Sweden at some point within that 10 year period? Or would i have to wait till after that period? Or if i would be allowed to move back there, would i have to come over to the uk to register with the police every 6 months or so?

    I dont believe Sweden has a sex offenders registry as far as i’m aware of.

    What if i would fail to registry (for example if missing flight back to uk or something), would Sweden extradite me to the UK for imprisonment?

    Kind regards

    • TheOpinionSite
      December 12, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      The Register applies only while you are in theUK. There is nothing to stop you from returning to your home country at anytime, where UK law does not of course apply. We are not aware of the legal requirements in Sweden and you should check with the Swedish authorities. – editor

  4. Lucy
    October 15, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    I am upset that a male Sex offender (repeat offender) has been given a hard time for most of his adult life (now he’s 65).
    He is a skilled Carpenter & I engaged his to work for over the course of 3-years. VISOR know, searched my home & was satisfied I was it was purely work. In that time he was in and out, in and out cos he’s unpredictable for foolish breaches of his sopo (his own silly fault).
    However, 3-years down the line Police ‘Child Protection’ knocked on my door & questioned me. Went to my Son’s school under ‘section 47’ interviewed my 12-year old with Social ‘children’s’ services and case closed (no threat).
    I visited my Builder friend in pris and one of the Police (after 6-mnths) informed Social Services, who said some bitch Social worker from hell said on her 1st telephone call to me, in her 12-years of practicing social work “she’d only come across 2-3 people like me.” What did she mean – I’d committed no crime. My son had never even met the Builder, as all work under-taken on a dusty site. She talked to me like dirt, treat it like I was the sex offender myself (which I’m not), tried to trick my Son into saying he was protecting me for wrong reasons, when he (and we) told nothing but the truth. Fact, no crime had been committed. SW wanted immediate child protection case and possible child being taken off me. What a joke.
    She took case to her social service Manager & police Wow – they all wanted child protection case on my only son.Case didn’t even pass ‘threshold’ so no child protection could be initiated!!
    But still not satisfied, she trumped up a ‘child in need’ case and forced meeting at my son’s school, so she could publically humiliate me in-front of Deputy-head Teacher and also dragged school Nurses along for ‘health assessment’ on my Son. All a massive set-up. My Son now hates Social services, routinely asked me “mum are u going to bring them down?!” Well that I cannot do I’m afraid, but possible a Human Rights case, as effectively Social/ Police are stopping me engaging a Builder for work, due to him being a registered sex offender.
    But he never EVER met my son, had no reason to and never will.

    • straw man
      August 5, 2016 at 11:53 pm

      i am an EX offender. EX being they key. i regret my 30 year old mistake but as with lucys comment i am persecuted hunted and haunted.
      i agree that protection should be in place but its got out of control . every one is now a sex offender hunter.
      if a person is convicted serves his time in jail or on probation its very wrong for the police to persecute and for brain dead vigilantes to track on websites.
      Lucy. annoy the police. piss them off. haunt your MP and dont give up.
      respect to you for standing by your man.
      i hope all ends well. though under current POLICE and GOVERMENT “guided by financial greed” concern i wouldnt hold your breath.

    • Janet Fitch
      March 12, 2017 at 11:22 am

      My husband opened an email which had 10 indecent images in it. He was disgusted and deleted it. Several months later we had the police impound his computer and although he had deleted the images they brought them back to his pictures and he was convicted and put on the sex offender’s register. Five years later he was taken off it. But because of the media hype at the time and we live in a small village. We are still having problems with narrow minded people who don’t know or want to know the truth.

      • Jack
        October 12, 2018 at 11:51 am

        That sounds very harsh on your man Janet. My friend from Belgium likes taking photos of nature, especially flowing water. She sends some pictures in emails, but I’ve got to physically save them to my device or laptop before they appear in my photos. Is it possible to auto save photos by simply opening the email, if so I’d like to know as this would save time!

  5. mikek
    September 5, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    hi there i was put on a 10 year sopo back in 2005 for under age sex with a 15 year old this year 2015 i got told they want to extend it until further notice saying i am still a risk.
    right i am with my partner have been for over a year now and she is due to have are baby girl in November she does know about the sopo but we have had social services round saying that i will not be able to live with them once she is born saying that i cant have a family life. also that will be making me homeless as well need some help asap please
    with if i can appeal my sopo or amend it so that i can life with my family

    • ken
      November 4, 2015 at 11:34 pm

      Hi, I can tell you now that NO way will you be able to stay with your partner. Once convicted for a sex crime you are deemed a risk for rest of your life. My licence finished in 2011. I met someone late 2011, and now they have found out that I adopted two children who I love with all my heart and soul. S.S are the worst kind, they have not seen what an positive impact I have had on their lives. Even though my offence was 15 years ago, (spent) I am still being punished, no matter how remorse I am and would NEVER commit an offence again, they don’t care. I can’t see a way out for you, and honestly you should have told your partner in the beginning, because as you have not it will be deemed suspicious, and goes against you. Sorry if my reply is negative. The other option is see a solicitor.

  6. Jay
    August 26, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    I was convicted in 2003 and sentenced to 9 month in custody and 9 months probation. I was also put on the register for 10 years. In 2009 I was convicted again and given 3 years probation with an order to do a Sex Offenders course. My SOR was extended until 2016. However, I was given an indefinate SOPO at the same time. When I asked the police what will happen when my SOR expires I was told that as I was on an indefinate SOPO my SOR was also indefniate meaning that I will be on the register for life.
    How can a court document stating an expriry date be extended/changed without any court hearing? Who has the power to do this? What can I do to resolve this issue?

  7. Thomas
    August 5, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    I myself am/was a convicted sex offender, and the only reason the police caught me was because i went to my GP looking for help which i might add was quite possibly the most courageous thing i have ever done. you see people who are in the position i was in 6/7 years ago have/had very few options its not really something you can talk about with friends and family and there is little to no support in the community.

    but because i was essentially admitting to a crime the doctor had no choice but to inform the police.

    what did i get for my bravery 3 years in prison (reduced to 18 months at appeal) a SOPO (which i am currently trying to get removed with the support and blessing from my personal officer from the dangerous persons unit) which is far more Draconian than the sex offenders register its self and placed on the sex offenders register for life (reduced to 10 years at the appeal).

    personally i think the sex offenders register should stay but it should not exceed what it was designed for. it should run in tandem with the rehabilitation of offenders act with review every 6 months based on risk assessment with the option of applying for early removal if the risk assessment shows you are low risk to the community, if the crime for which you was placed on the register for becomes spent then you should be removed from the register, if the police still believe the ex-offender to be a threat then they can apply for a SOPO.

    unfortunately i fear it will be a very long time before any real and fair progress is made knee jerk amendments only happen after sensational news stories

  8. wendie Mcnally
    July 22, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    I have been following what you can and cannot do while on the register. My partner who i have known since we were children was placed on the register. I must state that the court case was a joke, After 20 years had passed one girl at school where we both attended said on two occasions he had touched her.This girl who we all knew to be a drunk and fabricator of the truth went to court. In doing so my partner and father of my children was given two years in prison suspended and placed on the register for 10 years . He has suffered with depression since then the social services tried to remove our children. We have tried to move but the police say we have to inform the housing people and any future employees that he is on the at the end of the day maybe it would be better if we just give up. By the way the girl who lied went on holiday the day after the court case ended . We are still going through hell 3 years later we don’t know if we can do this for another 7 years.

    • Martin
      April 25, 2016 at 4:59 pm

      You don’t have to report to anyone that you are on the register. The only legal part is to complete all your notifications.

      I would seek legal advice if I was your partner

  9. marcus pick
    June 1, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    even pseudo photographs and animated porn are illegal.

    • "Rob"
      June 27, 2015 at 4:45 am

      Even sex offender registtaion is a part of the business for police and probation. I was convicted of a sexual crime in 2010 and I was subjected to registration for 5 years. When I was released beyond of my license I was still stalked by the police to register(so that they can obtain public funding in the cash stripped police force). Which is a business within the capitalism system and I was not complied with for the last years registration for a dedicated police officer and she put me in prison by conspiracy.

  10. "John"
    May 14, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    The registration just wrecks lives further in addition to the imprisonment and licence period. A person whom commits most other offences is allowed after Licence period (part of the initial sentence), to go about their life uninterrupted.

    As has been mentioned here it seems that the VISOR 1997 is nothing more than a big stick for authorities to be allowed to continue to intrude on a person’s life even after the punishment and re-integration period has long expired.

    Until David Cameron wakes up and Teresa May for that matter people will be returned to custody, sometimes for years, for little more than staying in a hotel and forgetting to tell the “Gestapo”. There is no evidence of the “register” preventing further offences, nor from reducing risk, in my view it heightens risk as more ill-treatment inevitably leads to some who “go underground”.

    If a person wanted to move abroad under the current terms of VISOR, say for instance, Europe. I am lead to believe a 7 day advance notice of the date is required and then IF returning to the UK re-register within 3 days as standard. What is the procedure if one decided not to return?


    • James
      October 30, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      And a sex offender doesn’t wreck lives ?

      • jay
        April 14, 2016 at 10:44 pm

        Problem with that response and indeed the opinion of many is that sex offender is such a broad term. I will not elaborate on my conviction as I am not intending to start an argument but I just wish people would think before they speak. I have never harmed anyone and I never will.

  11. Duncan Wakerley
    April 22, 2015 at 1:26 am

    I am also on the registration. On for life apparently. I wasn’t in any way medically able to plead. Because I was suffering from reactive depression. I didn’t know at the time I could have not plead. But I’ve moved on. I met a girl over here she has now gone back to the Philippines. I can’t even go and see her now. Because of new laws. How are we supposed to try and live a normal life. Does anybody know a way of going to the Philippines without being stopped at the airport and told to go back home. How do they know anyway. Is it through your passport number?

    • TheOpinionSite
      April 22, 2015 at 11:39 am

      Join the forum. All the answers and more are there.

    • ml
      July 22, 2015 at 12:04 pm

      Sorry to hear that Duncan, if you can wait the mandatory 15 (I believe) years you have then the right to appeal.

      Glad to hear that you’ve moved on, keep up the good work.



    • Berna Sophia
      July 31, 2015 at 8:44 am

      How long have you’ve been together?

    • Chris Hall
      July 29, 2018 at 8:44 pm

      its because the police inform the home office who then send your passport details to every country – i am in a similar position to you, please were told i went onto an illegal site?? i have no idea how i did that, so the police removed my computer then held on to it for 6 years – then out of the blue i get a letter telling me to attend court, i have a wife in the Philippines who i have not seen for 30 months. apparently i had downloaded 200 images and now i have a 10 year SOR wish i could help you

  12. Steve
    February 15, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    I was convicted in 2010 as I confessed to some computer based non contact crimes. My conscience got the better of me and so I went to the police station and, rightly, received a sentence.One sentence was 9 months suspended for two years and the other was for three years Community order. Subsequently I was informed by probation that the sentences were unlawful as the same court on the same day cannot award a SSO and a Community Order at the same time. I have served both and now am considering appealing to get just one sentence. Anyone else been here?

  13. fred
    September 21, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    i may be put on the sex offenders reg can i seek asylum in another country

    June 30, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Can we look at the bigger picture for a moment. What is REALLY going on here?, The answer is the inauguration of a Fascist “Big Brother” State. The majority of the people on this register have made a mistake, some have commited a “thought crime” of looking at indecent pictures of children. If I watch a film about a bank robbery, am I going to go and do one? NO, what the people who actually control the country, and I don`t mean that bunch of idiots in parliament, I mean the people who control the “sir Humphry`s”, the top civil servants. What they want is a system ultimately where everybody has his /her own dossier, and carries an identity card. Thus, by use of modern technology, a police constable can find out everything about a person. And I mean EVERYTHING. This is am extremely DANGEROUS situation, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance” said Thomas Jefferson. How true. George Orwell wrote the book “1984” in the 1930`3 it is from this that the terms “Big Brother” and “Thought Crime” ..Read the book, or watch the film, and ponder Orwells insight. If you would like a further insight into the Police State horror that awaits us, look at the provisions of the “Patriot Act” in the USA..The Land Of the Free, If you look into the abuses of freedom now occuring in the US you will see the term “Land of the Free” as a very sick joke. What the USA does today, we usually do several years later. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED PEOPLE !

  15. Jase
    March 16, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    I was convicted in 2012 got 18 months suspended for 2 years, 2 year probation order, a 5 year sopo, isotp order, and 10 years on the “Register” so i am very interested in this subject, like others i was mis-convicted but have to serve this time,
    Meanwhile were subject to the notification requirements which are really too many to remember to comply with, “visor (CEOP officers) coming whenever they like to find out the in and outs of a ducks arse, then check the computer history, oh they now want sex offenders to allow them to install a program on peoples hard drives so if a “keyword” the program dont like is typed the program in background takes a screenshot and sends it into police and they say they wont but its also to check internet history remotely without extensive checks when coming round to homes, what do u guys think of that?

    Also to ask a question, ive been offered a job in spain, now bearing in mind ive only been convicted autumn 2012 so everything is still in force, what are my chances of being allowed to work abroad and what would i be subjected to before hand and if allowed post hand?

  16. Michael
    March 12, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    I was convicted in 2007 for offences committed 1989-94. I admitted everything when challenged and confessed in police interview without a lawyer being requested. I cooperated fully. Everyone who has assessed me places my risk as extremely low. I served 20 months and undertook a full program in prison. Social services tried to break up the family and assassinated my wife’s character, but my wife and children stood by me and didn’t let them break us up. Now social services are powerless, but the police overstep the mark with so called supervision, and, using the offender disclosure law incorrectly, they threatened to tell my 12 year old son’s friends’ parents about my offences unless I have a different residential address for registration purposes. I never even met his friends and actually avoided the possibility of contact, so how could I be a risk? But no, the bully boy police wouldn’t back off, telling me that this was nothing to do with the courts and that it was them who sorted out this type of thing ‘in the community’. Total misuse of power in order to threaten and blackmail people. I was ashamed of my offences and still am. But this makes me ashamed to be British.

    • Sam
      August 2, 2015 at 11:49 am

      HI Michael,

      We have just come into a very similar situation to you. I wanted to know how you’ve managed and how we should manage Social Services.
      We hope things are working out for you and your family

  17. bob
    October 24, 2013 at 10:52 am

    I was convicted in 2001 for an offence i commited when i was 16. I was given a 3 year sentence so im registered for life but im hoping to apply to be removed. I am now in my 40’s. I dont really have any issues with the police but its the social services that are destroying my life. Ive done sotp and extra work what they wanted me to do and had the risk assessment done which came back medium risk. I was told no one ever gets low risk. I was seeing someone who had children and social services where told. My partner at the time also did a course to help but the social services just dont help. They destroy relationships. Can anything be done.

  18. Peter
    August 14, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    I was sentenced to 10 years on the register, this means I will be subject to police harassment and intimidation for a long time. Now, being a mentally strong and ambitious individual I have no time for being looked down on by the police or other people. It’s simple- if you’re wrongly accused of a sex offense you just have to deal with it! Someone tries to have a go at you? Beat them up. Police try and visit? Make their life a misery, don’t respond when questioned, don’t let them in your house. Most people don’t realize that being EU citizens we can just move abroad to countries like France, Germany, Italy etc which don’t have any bullshit registers like the UK. Meaning you are essentially free and independent again.

  19. kev
    August 11, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Seems like they can invent chrges gainst you too i live in france and am due in court soon for failing to sign annual registration in april, when i was at home in france then working in holland came to uk to work end of may,when they called at my rented place in uk to say i have faiked to register,but 2 days before registration was due i was working in uk rhen went to tell them i was going home to france then had work in holland and dont know when i will back in uk.

    • Peter
      August 14, 2013 at 5:53 pm

      How could you be due in court for failing to sign annual registration if you are no longer subject to them because you’re living in France?
      Also, do you know why the police take bank account details? What possible reason would they need them? And can they access people’s accounts whenever they like?

      • Mike
        December 19, 2016 at 8:15 pm

        if you don`t sign on your annual i think you breach im not sure?
        i do know that the year/s you don`t `notify` that period is suspended until you return to UK.
        so help me any god im a similar position as you and ive figured a lot out since only in hindsight 🙁
        it seems we have both made `mistakes` regarding `the n otification requirements`
        ive come to believe its not safe to assume regarding your duty to notify the police and any changes.
        maybe they don´t want you to think its easy to just simply walk out of the CUNTry.
        im certain they understand its much easier to find and keep work and to live a normal life outside the UK without all the unecessary overintrusion into your private life and constant harassment from different sources.
        but you should keep in touch with the police occasionaly when necessary,
        if you`re unsure about anything or what to do contact them direct
        be honest without giving them too many unecessary details.
        express your concerns and treat them with respect.
        after all we are all human beings.
        you MUST everytime you return to UK go to the designated police station and do everything they tell you.
        no doubt we are in a difficult position.
        better safe than sorry where possible!

        • TheOpinionSite
          December 21, 2016 at 12:54 pm

          These questions are covered in the forum.

  20. john
    July 4, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    hi, i got sentenced to 12 months in 2000 and put on sex offender register for 10 years, i was charged with a sexual offence in 2004, but pf dropped the case so it never went to court, i was convicted of a sexual offence in 2010, got 3 years probation and 3 years sex offender register which i finish on sept the 2nd, the police that visit me have told me that i am on a police sopo indefinitly, which they said that i am on the register for life and if i dont re register on 2nd sept i will be jailed for upto 5 years, the offences happened in scotland, how can this be

  21. gary
    March 8, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Hey I’m a registered sex offender and was sentenced in 2003 to 18 months with a 2 year extended licence and 10 years registeration under the 1991 cja.I have now been advised that I am on the register indefinatly how the hell can this be lawful where a judge puts you on something then retrospectively new legislation can change this is this being challenged in the courts ?

    • Raymond Peytors -
      March 8, 2013 at 11:00 pm

      Editor’s note: It is because of the Ruling in R v Wiles 2004 which includes extended licences as part of the term of imprisonment. That takes your sentence to more than 30 months which requires indefinite registration. You will find a great deal about it in our forum from others who have also been affected. Click HERE for more. – Editor

  22. John Edward
    September 10, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Being on the register only gives the police powers to intemedate a SO this I can prove as the police had come to have a look around they tryed to make an arrest untill tey found out that there visit was being recourded which I still have to date.
    This is why I would say that some may return to prison as they have been intemedated.

  23. James
    September 7, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    I can tell you that West Mids Police are collecting the data now but seem to be going about it differently. I recieved a letter asking me to give them a call. It said at the bottom “(Nothing to worry about!)”
    I did ask why they were now getting this information and I was told that they weren’t entirely sure. But the person I spoke to said that it was to find SOs if they defect from the list.

  24. James
    August 16, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Also to follow up on your comment, ESSEX POLICE FORCE are now collecting this new required data to. Not content on just doing a routine house visit, they actually made a special trip to collect the data, recorded it on the relevant forms and still insisted that when my ANNUAL notification was up, I had to show all the same infomation; my annual notification is only 3 weeks away!!!!!! What the hell could change in 3 weeks??

    One last thing, they (the police) also took photographs of my documents and of me using their own mobile phones! Prehaps to pass round at the next policemans night out, drunk in the local.

  25. David James
    August 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    I am on the register and have been for the last 15 years now. I did my time in prison and was told my sentance by the court which I did and that was 1994. When I come out in 1997 they had brought it in and I was given not choice and put on it. Now during the last 15 years I have keep out of trouble and do everything that is asked of me. The police can and do turn up when they feel like. They have also costed me my job as when they found out I was working and no it was not with children, they went to my employers and told them which meant I am now on the dole and have no chance of a job. The new changes they are bringing in, I have not been told of any good reasons for giving them my bank details and what they are going to do with them. When they come to my house they want to know where I have been who I have seen and even walk around my house and read any mail that is there even if it is not in site. I am treated like a bit of dirt and all my family are getting feed up with it. Because as they said it looks like they want me to screw up and so they can lock me away again. I was going out with someone for awhile and he was around my age so that was not a problem. He know I was on it and took it on, but in the end they made things hard for him by keep checking up on me and him even saying if I did not give his address I would end up in Jail. Now I never stayed around his place because of his mum and so there was no reason for it. In the end we parted and that could have made things worse for me. Lucky I got great surport from from family and friends. But something needs to be done about this. I can ask to come off but who thinks I have any chance not me.

    • moses
      August 20, 2012 at 8:05 pm

      Dear Editor,

      Whilst I agree, David should not have allowed the police to take such liberties, I note your suggestion that he uses a solicitor. Unfortunately, public funding has been removed for people in David’s position, and I am unable to find a solicitor who will work for nothing. If you know of one, perhaps you could let us al know.


    • marcus pick
      June 1, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      sometimes it is part of the sopo order that they can check your accodation or property, and to my knowledge you have to allow them.

  26. tel
    July 30, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    All this is a pure copy of what the germans did to the Jewish ppl in ww2. Where does it all stop and whats to stop the police using the information to incriminate ppl, they seem to hate sex offenders more than anyone else. Also why not let them decide that sex offenders shouldn’t be given any medicl help when they get cancer or any other illness which is life threatening, if they see them on the street just put them against a wall and shoot them. I was always led to believe this country was made great by its laws and fairness in dealing with others. Why are our troops in other countrys fighting oppression there but nothing is done about it happening to ppl in this country we are now not only a police state but we are ruled by dictators who make chages to laws without thought or regard to any one else. PPL of Britain BEWARE BIG BROTHER IS TAKING OVER.

    • Andy
      August 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      Next thing that will be implemented will be a register for all those people not currently on a register!

      Where will these “Registers” end.

  27. Craig
    July 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Is anyone aware that West Yorkshire Police are already going round and collecting the new proposed details from registered offenders?

  28. Gordon Smith
    July 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Why don’t we just have a police state and get it over with, then we will have no Politicians. What about historical cases where the accused has pleaded not guilty and maintained there innocense all through out their sentance, and there by served longer sentences and then made to comply with these draconian laws as a further punishment?

    Better still why not lock up all sex offenders for life and eventualy no one but sex offenders will be imprisoned and all the thieves murderers muggers drug dealers can be allowed to carry out their crimes at their leisure, as there will be no room in prisons for them.

    If the prisons are over crowded now what about in a few years time when there will be over a million more sex offenders? Bugger it why not just gas them all problem solved?

    • marcus pick
      June 1, 2015 at 12:16 pm

      in the uk they have built a prison that is just for sexual offenders.

  29. Paul
    July 26, 2011 at 10:42 am

    You can do something about this – the Home Office is having a ‘targetted consultation’ details of the propsals and how to respond can be found at

    You have until Monday 8 August to give your views.

    The main proposals are
    – notification of ALL forgien travel (curently travel over 3 days must be notified)
    – week registration if you are homeless
    – notifying if you are staying with a person under 18
    – notification of bank account, credit card and passport details.
    – requirement to bring idenity when registering

    The justifications for all these proposals are weak; on the bank account details the only justification is that they already do it in Scotland!

    Once again it is the police (in CEOP) making these proposals and it is the police who are being consulted!

    None of these prevents any sexual offences – it just makes the police job easier.

    And the new requirements will be brought in through an order and not through legislation in parliament. This is how a police state comes about – target a marganilised gorup (sex offenders), bring in restrictive measures (registration etc) without proper secruinity and then extend thoes measures to the whole population.

    You think I’m joking? – the police are clearly trying to build a national DNA database and they were also strongly in favour of idenity cards – effectively registration for everyone!

    So do something while you still can and respond to the conlsultation and say NO!

    • Raymond Peytors -
      July 26, 2011 at 10:58 am

      To clarify, it is the police, probation services etc who are the ‘target’ of the consultation. Although the public can also contribute, the consultation is actually cosmetic. Charities like ECPAT are driving the changes, not least because it gives them a platform on which to raise money for their own survival. ECPAT failed to get its own way in the European Parliament so they are instead taking advantage of weak politicians and a gullible public in the UK. By the way, the use of a Statutory Instrument to bring in the changes is a facility actually built in to the original 1997 Act, thus allowing the Home Secretary to change the rules by executive order rather than by separate legislation. Believe it or not, technically she can do this whenever she feels like it and without any consultation at all if she so chooses. – RP

    • David
      August 4, 2012 at 9:28 am

      The organisation FACT (False Allegations against Carers and Teachers) was consulted about these additions to the Register but it seems most of the Home Secretary’s plans have gone ahead and will be implemented this month. It is hoped that the Supreme or European courts will regard them as punitive and not merely administrative. It seems highly unfair to anyone placed on the SO Register that these extra provisions should be added without first being subject to a court appearance.

      • Raymond Peytors -
        August 4, 2012 at 12:35 pm

        Editor’s Note: The government appears to have listened mainly to the charities and lobby groups, especially ECPAT. Evidence from individuals on the register, lawyers and human rights groups is nowhere to be seen. submitted evidence and was ignored, as were nearly all other bodies voicing an objection to the new measures. No opinions against the changes get a mention in the consultation response summary (available on the Home Office site) and the government have only published supportive views in other documentation. The Labour government specifically prevented any chance of a court hearing for fear of undermining the MAPPA system, the retrospective nature of the notification requirements are almost impossible to challenge and the only means of challenging the requirements is by means of judicial Review.

        Although the general public may think that these restrictions on RSOs is a good thing, the same principles are now being applied to violent offenders, those involved with domestic violence, persistent petty offenders and some children. It will not, I fear, be very long before everyone is on a register of some kind and subject to notification requirements.

        Most of the proposals are to satisfy the groups which have vested interests and which can potentially damage the government. The requirement to notify addresses, living with someone under 18, passport details, bank and credit card details etc were all available to the police anyway by means of other investigative legislation.

        As I have pointed out many times, whenever a Home Secretary is in trouble, they go for sex offenders. Why sex offenders? Because nobody will ever voice any objection to any measure against a sex offender for fear of being criticised. Not a single MP has ever voted against increasing the restrictions on sex offenders except where they wanted even more draconian measures to be applied.

        This mentality and lack of parliamentary courage will spread to other “undesirables” in society and many people will find themselves unexpectedly affected because they were too eager to accept more “public protection” measures.

        So much for democracy. – Editor

        • Maltravers
          August 4, 2012 at 12:49 pm

          I shall be interested to learn of any individual or group challenging these new requirements in the Supreme and/or European courts. The implementation of such extreme measures for those who have already been convicted and sentenced seems punitive and not merely administrative as indicated in the main article to this forum. I shall also be interested to discover the actual figures of re-offending by sex offenders. Politicians and others often ‘talk up’ this aspect but I have yet to hear them quote reliable statistics.

          • Raymond Peytors -
            August 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm

            You may want to contribute to this topic in our Forum:
            – Editor

          • Depressed
            August 20, 2012 at 9:39 pm

            I am an individual who is challenging this, unfortunately I am currently only at the adminstrative court level. I am in little doubt I will not be granted a Judicial Review, but that will not come as a surprise, and will open the route for an application to the European arena.

          • Pete
            April 12, 2016 at 2:50 am

            The actual rate of re-offending by sex offenders in the UK I found out in 2008 was just 4%, which must be the lowest for most crimes; so hardy any justification for all the over-the-top measures they bring in.

        • marcus pick
          June 1, 2015 at 12:21 pm

          sexual offenders are look at lower than murderers and some have been done for “thought crimes”.

    • duncan
      May 6, 2018 at 11:50 am

      I’m presuming that they want bank details so they can freeze your assets if you disappear – why they need your card numbers, expiry dates etc. I can’t imagine?

  30. Ramon1940
    July 25, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    The Politicians have no castegated sex offenders to the degree that Juries now only have to hear tyhe words Child sex offender, that they no longer listen to any evidence put forward by the defence, and will convict regardless.
    The Police fail miserably when it comes to investigating the accuser, and often encourage the accuser to add false information, or even allow them to change their statements.
    Too many Child sex accusations are “historical” and no actual days, months or years have to be factual, it can be anywhere over a period of years. I fail to comprehend how a child can remember everything that has been alleged to have been committed, word for word, everything alleged to have been said, but can “never” be sure of what Day, Month, or Year it was.
    We all know children will tell untruths, many wait until they are grown up before they say anything, and they make False allegations in order to gain compensation. (Theft from the taxpayers)
    Giving the Police more powers to re arrest a person after they have served their full sentence, is as far as I am concerned “victimisation”
    Thousands have not even offended in the first place.
    Get rid of compensation and replace it with counselling and therapy, Then watch the allegations diminish overnight!!!!!!!

    • "John"
      May 14, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      Ramson I have been saying this for a number of years. Remove so called Criminal Injury Compensation, to be replaced by a series of counselling sessions.

      False accusers liars and evil doers will go away and never rear their ugly head. Those true “victims” (although I hate the use of this word) will still come forward with what happened to them, as no amount of money will ease their suffering, counselling MAY.

  31. July 23, 2011 at 8:45 am

    The problem also lies in The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This act is totally outdated and is not fit for purpose. Despite having a ‘review’ in 2002/2003, not a single recommendation has ever been put into place. Politicians are more concerned with their own reputations and their expense accounts !

  32. Oscar
    July 23, 2011 at 4:55 am

    I’ve always been puzzled by this ‘register’ idea as it appears to merely duplicate the current system ie: anyone charged and convicted already has a criminal record.

    I cannot see how notifying officials of your details is actually of any use as a crime can be committed in the blink an eye.

    How on earth does reporting your details stop you doing something?. It is illogical.

    But I always believed that it was a matter of time before others would be subject to registers and thus it has come to pass. I never guessed it would be domestic violence one but there we go.

    This latest one appears to be sheer madness and possibly an administrative nightmare that could lead to all sorts of mistakes and lawsuits.

    These are attempts to regulate human behavour. I am sure-unless society does degenerate into full blown fascism there will be dramatic legal challenges that will find registers unlawful.

    • Raymond Peytors -
      July 23, 2011 at 9:52 am

      I have spoken to many policemen, all of whom have told ne that the Sex Offenders Register has never prevented an offence from taking place. It simply provides an excuse to put someone back in prison if they breach one of the many requirements. – RP

  33. paul
    July 22, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    I hope the politicians are reading this. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen the truth about this social segregation exposed in the UK. Politicians tell lies so often that the public begin to believe them, even when all the research says the opposite.

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