What are Sexual Harm Prevention Orders and Sexual Offences Prevention Orders?
They are civil orders made by a court, and can be best described as a ‘Sexual ASBO’. Prior to March 2015 they were known as Sexual Offences Prevention Orders (SOPO) . Post March 2015 they are known as Sexual Harm Prevention Orders (SHPO).
Does a SHPO/SOPO require guilt?
Not necessarily. They can be made against any person who is convicted of a qualifying offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 but also can be made against someone based solely on alleged behaviour which did not result in a prosecution. In order to make a order, the court must be satisfied that the offender presents a risk of sexual harm to the public (or particular members of the public) and that an order is necessary to protect against such risk.
Is it recorded as a conviction and recorded on the Police National Computer (PNC)?
When does it become spent?
After the length of the order.
What can a SOPO/SHPO include?
Each order is tailored to the particular mischief complained of but usual conditions include no or supervised contact with children under the age of 18 and restrictive use of the internet and social media. The prohibitions need to be justified, proportionate and enforceable.
Can a SHPO/SOPO be varied or discharged?
Yes, it can be at any time. If the application to discharge is made within five years of it being granted it requires the permission of the local Chief Constable. This does not however prevent the court from removing or varying the order or it’s duration within that period.
How do you go about varying/discharging an order?
The application has to be made to the Court that imposed the order in the first instance. It is made in writing and on notice.
How does it tie in with the notification requirements?
The two normally run in tandem and complement each other. However there are occasions when the notification requirements have expired yet the SOPO continues to be in force. In these instances the courts are usually sympathetic to the order being discharged
Are you entitled to legal aid to have the order varied?
In some instances this may be covered under the original legal aid certificate but in the majority of instances the application will be privately funded. Olliers Solicitors only undertake such work on a privately funded basis.
How much does it cost?
This will largely depend on whether the application is contested so anywhere between £500 – £5,000 plus VAT. We would suggest that you contact Max Saffman to discuss your individual case and he will then be able to give you a more accurate quotation having regard to the specifics of your case.
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Need a Specialist SOPO/SHPO Removal Lawyer?
If you wish to discuss making an application for varying or discharging a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) or Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) please contact specialist solicitor Max Saffman by telephone on 0161 8341515, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to send us a message.