Anyone convicted, cautioned or released from a prison sentence for sexual offences against children or adults after September 1997 is required to ‘sign’ on the sexual offences register. The sex offenders ‘register’ was initially introduced under the Sexual Offences Act 1997, which was subsequently amended by the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
We often receive enquiries from people asking about the Sexual Offenders Register. The questions and answers below are designed to help you understand what it is and what people on the register are required to do.
Is there an actual register?
It is perhaps a common misconception that there is a formal register to be signed. In fact, the requirement to register is complied with by informing the police about a number of personal circumstances – these are usually referred to as ‘the notification requirements.’
What information do I have to give?
All convicted sex offenders must register with the police within three days of their conviction or release from prison and give the following details:
- Full name and date of birth
- National insurance number
- Home address
This is designed to monitor where the registered person resides.
What is done with the information?
This information is monitored by the police and probation service when an inmate is released into the community and is on licence.
What do I do if my personal circumstances change?
For those on the register who move address, or who change their name, there is a duty to inform the police within three days of any such change. Additionally, the police must be informed of any plans to travel abroad or if there are plans to stay away from the registered address for more than 7 days. There are consequences for failing to do either.
What are the consequences for failing to register?
Failure to register and to comply with the notification requirements is a criminal offence for which a term of imprisonment can be imposed.
Are my personal circumstances shared?
Police forces across the UK are entitled to exchange information about the movements of those on the register. The details are usually kept on a national database.
It should also be known that registration on the register will flag up on any enhanced criminal records bureau check which may be undertaken in the process of applying for employment.
Can the Police monitor my every move?
Offenders who are considered high-profile, or at a more significant risk, can be the subject of additional surveillance and monitoring which can include electronic tagging, and additional input and review by the Multi-Agency Public Protection Agency (MAPPA) who consist of the Police, Social Services, Prison, and other agencies. Offenders on licence are likely to be subject to licence conditions. Breaking licence conditions may result in recall to prison.
How long do I remain on the register?
The answer to this question depends very much on the offence or offences committed and the length of the sentence or other penalty which was imposed. There is a requirement to be on the register indefinitely for those who are serving or who served a sentence of more than 30 months for sexual offences. Offenders are on the register for 10 years, 5 years for those under 18, where the imprisonment term is between 6 and 30 months. For offenders sentenced for six months or less, registration is for seven years, or 3 1/2 years for those under 18. Offenders who do not receive a prison sentence but you are cautioned as a result of admissions made in interview, are placed on the register for two years, one year if under 18.
We are specialist criminal lawyers with an abundance of experience in dealing with sexual offences. You may be facing prosecution for a sexual offence or sexual offences and may need some advice not just concerning the offending behaviour alleged, but the ancillary orders that the court can impose following conviction. It may be that you have completed your sentence and are now in the community and having some difficulty with the authorities concerning registration. Either way, do not hesitate to contact us.
Contact us in London (West Drayton) on 01895 449288 or in Hertfordshire (St Albans) on 01727 840900 or by email via our contact page.