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Sexual harm prevention orders explained by our sexual offence solicitor
26 Oct 2022

In 2022, there have been a few changes made to sexual offence law in the UK.

One of the biggest changes is the Sexual Offender Management Act, which allows courts and police to apply to have a range of orders placed on those who have committed sexual assaults or those who may be at risk of sexual assault.

The aim is to streamline the process for the registration of sexual offenders and prevent those who may be at risk of committing sexual offences from doing so via intervention.

But what does this all mean for you if you have been accused of committing a sexual offence?

At ABV Solicitors, our sexual offence solicitor will always aim to have any orders or penalties against you reduced or dropped, allowing you to get on with your life. This is especially important if you have been falsely accused of committing a sexual offence or simply caught up in a situation that has spiralled.

With that in mind, there is a lot to get through regarding the Sexual Offender Management Act, so in this article, our sexual offence solicitor aims to provide a guide or FAQ section relating to sexual harm prevention orders (SHPOs).

What is a sexual harm prevention order?

A sexual harm prevention order or SHPO is an order that is made via the courts when there are concerns about a particular individual. The concern would be that the individual is very likely to commit a sexual offence, and an SHPO can be made by the police or even the court. If you have been issued an SHPO following a misunderstanding, please contact our sexual offence solicitor for advice.

Why would one be placed?

There are many reasons why the police or other legal officials would want to have an SHPO placed.

Suppose you have been caught engaging in inappropriate behaviour online with minors, which may have led to the sharing of lewd imagery or pornography. This would constitute an SHPO being made against you, as it shows you have the intent to commit an illegal sexual act. However, if there has been a mix-up and you thought the person you were sharing the images with was over the legal age, please call our team for advice.

How long do they last?

An SHPO can last for at least 5 years, but it can be extended if deemed appropriate. In some cases, these orders can go on for an undetermined period; this will allow you to fulfil the conditions set in the SHPO, such as engaging in therapy, which is designed to prevent you from committing sexual offences.

Can I appeal against mine?

Yes, you can, and this is where our team can help.

As mentioned earlier, if you have good reason to think that your SHPO has been placed due to a mix-up or is simply unnecessary, then please contact our team for advice. We will aim to have it withdrawn or reduced.

What happens if I breach an SHPO?

If you breach your SHPO, you may be sentenced to jail time; this can vary in length, but the maximum sentence in the UK for breaching this order is 5 years. So, please adhere to the terms set down in the order.

Not Guilty – Sexual Offence

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