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SHPO - can the police interpret it as they wish?


SHPO - can the police interpret it as they wish?

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Trevor
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My SHPO prevents me from associating etc with females under 16 - 'FEMALES' is specified in the order.  On a recent visit by the police to my house to check my computer use and so on I was asked if I'd had any contact with children in the last 12 months. I said yes.  Through a family I know, I'd been in the presence of a 3-year old boy - BOY, MALE - on tea and dinner occasions etc.  Given that females are specified in the SHPO, I thought this would be permitted.  No, said the police officer. The officer made me ring the family in question and obliged me to disclose my offence to them.  The officer then rang them to confirm what I had told him about my contact with the boy in question - never unsupervised, never babysat etc.  Children's services have been informed about all this.

The officer has confirmed that I committed no criminal offence, and that it was being treated as a 'safeguarding' matter.

My question is: can the police override (or at least interpret as they wish) the wording of an SHPO, handed down by the court?
AB2014
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Trevor - 13 Feb 20 10:41 AM
My SHPO prevents me from associating etc with females under 16 - 'FEMALES' is specified in the order.  On a recent visit by the police to my house to check my computer use and so on I was asked if I'd had any contact with children in the last 12 months. I said yes.  Through a family I know, I'd been in the presence of a 3-year old boy - BOY, MALE - on tea and dinner occasions etc.  Given that females are specified in the SHPO, I thought this would be permitted.  No, said the police officer. The officer made me ring the family in question and obliged me to disclose my offence to them.  The officer then rang them to confirm what I had told him about my contact with the boy in question - never unsupervised, never babysat etc.  Children's services have been informed about all this.

The officer has confirmed that I committed no criminal offence, and that it was being treated as a 'safeguarding' matter.

My question is: can the police override (or at least interpret as they wish) the wording of an SHPO, handed down by the court?

This isn't overriding the SHPO, it's something different. They said it wasn't a breach of the SHPO, because it wasn't. However, the one-size-fits-all approach means nobody on the SOR can have contact with children regardless of what might be on their SHPO/SOPO, which is a matter for the police to pass to child services to consider. These situations can sometimes require written consent from the parent/guardian.

=========================================================

As Chris Stacey said: Although its not formally part of the sentence that is handed down in court, the criminal record that someone comes away with effectively becomes a second sentence, which can have a long-lasting, if not lifelong, impact.

punter99
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AB2014 - 13 Feb 20 11:36 AM
Trevor - 13 Feb 20 10:41 AM
My SHPO prevents me from associating etc with females under 16 - 'FEMALES' is specified in the order.  On a recent visit by the police to my house to check my computer use and so on I was asked if I'd had any contact with children in the last 12 months. I said yes.  Through a family I know, I'd been in the presence of a 3-year old boy - BOY, MALE - on tea and dinner occasions etc.  Given that females are specified in the SHPO, I thought this would be permitted.  No, said the police officer. The officer made me ring the family in question and obliged me to disclose my offence to them.  The officer then rang them to confirm what I had told him about my contact with the boy in question - never unsupervised, never babysat etc.  Children's services have been informed about all this.

The officer has confirmed that I committed no criminal offence, and that it was being treated as a 'safeguarding' matter.

My question is: can the police override (or at least interpret as they wish) the wording of an SHPO, handed down by the court?

This isn't overriding the SHPO, it's something different. They said it wasn't a breach of the SHPO, because it wasn't. However, the one-size-fits-all approach means nobody on the SOR can have contact with children regardless of what might be on their SHPO/SOPO, which is a matter for the police to pass to child services to consider. These situations can sometimes require written consent from the parent/guardian.

Is that correct?  The SOR requirements cover giving your details to the police and notifying them of foreign travel. All the other conditions, regarding contact with children etc, are covered by the individual's SHPO.

AB2014
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punter99 - 13 Feb 20 11:58 AM
AB2014 - 13 Feb 20 11:36 AM
Trevor - 13 Feb 20 10:41 AM
My SHPO prevents me from associating etc with females under 16 - 'FEMALES' is specified in the order.  On a recent visit by the police to my house to check my computer use and so on I was asked if I'd had any contact with children in the last 12 months. I said yes.  Through a family I know, I'd been in the presence of a 3-year old boy - BOY, MALE - on tea and dinner occasions etc.  Given that females are specified in the SHPO, I thought this would be permitted.  No, said the police officer. The officer made me ring the family in question and obliged me to disclose my offence to them.  The officer then rang them to confirm what I had told him about my contact with the boy in question - never unsupervised, never babysat etc.  Children's services have been informed about all this.

The officer has confirmed that I committed no criminal offence, and that it was being treated as a 'safeguarding' matter.

My question is: can the police override (or at least interpret as they wish) the wording of an SHPO, handed down by the court?

This isn't overriding the SHPO, it's something different. They said it wasn't a breach of the SHPO, because it wasn't. However, the one-size-fits-all approach means nobody on the SOR can have contact with children regardless of what might be on their SHPO/SOPO, which is a matter for the police to pass to child services to consider. These situations can sometimes require written consent from the parent/guardian.

Is that correct?  The SOR requirements cover giving your details to the police and notifying them of foreign travel. All the other conditions, regarding contact with children etc, are covered by the individual's SHPO.

It's nothing to do with the SOR itself and notification requirements. This one-size-fits-all approach to safeguarding just means, to them, that anyone on the SOR is a clear and present danger to all children. They don't make the rules, and all that.

=========================================================

As Chris Stacey said: Although its not formally part of the sentence that is handed down in court, the criminal record that someone comes away with effectively becomes a second sentence, which can have a long-lasting, if not lifelong, impact.

Zack
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punter99 - 13 Feb 20 11:58 AM
AB2014 - 13 Feb 20 11:36 AM
Trevor - 13 Feb 20 10:41 AM
My SHPO prevents me from associating etc with females under 16 - 'FEMALES' is specified in the order.  On a recent visit by the police to my house to check my computer use and so on I was asked if I'd had any contact with children in the last 12 months. I said yes.  Through a family I know, I'd been in the presence of a 3-year old boy - BOY, MALE - on tea and dinner occasions etc.  Given that females are specified in the SHPO, I thought this would be permitted.  No, said the police officer. The officer made me ring the family in question and obliged me to disclose my offence to them.  The officer then rang them to confirm what I had told him about my contact with the boy in question - never unsupervised, never babysat etc.  Children's services have been informed about all this.

The officer has confirmed that I committed no criminal offence, and that it was being treated as a 'safeguarding' matter.

My question is: can the police override (or at least interpret as they wish) the wording of an SHPO, handed down by the court?

This isn't overriding the SHPO, it's something different. They said it wasn't a breach of the SHPO, because it wasn't. However, the one-size-fits-all approach means nobody on the SOR can have contact with children regardless of what might be on their SHPO/SOPO, which is a matter for the police to pass to child services to consider. These situations can sometimes require written consent from the parent/guardian.

Is that correct?  The SOR requirements cover giving your details to the police and notifying them of foreign travel. All the other conditions, regarding contact with children etc, are covered by the individual's SHPO.

SOR requires you to report if you are in a household for more than 12 hours where someone under 18 resides. Unless it was a very long meal that shouldn't apply. Safeguarding more generally I wouldn't know, I'd have thought they would have had to do a risk assessment before forcing a disclosure, and the fact that your SHPO only applies females suggests that a risk assessment in the past didn't consider males to be relevant. If you are on licence, it may be possible that you have other conditions too. My partner had more onerous conditions for a few months after release that no longer apply now.

AB2014
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Zack - 13 Feb 20 12:25 PM
punter99 - 13 Feb 20 11:58 AM
AB2014 - 13 Feb 20 11:36 AM
Trevor - 13 Feb 20 10:41 AM
My SHPO prevents me from associating etc with females under 16 - 'FEMALES' is specified in the order.  On a recent visit by the police to my house to check my computer use and so on I was asked if I'd had any contact with children in the last 12 months. I said yes.  Through a family I know, I'd been in the presence of a 3-year old boy - BOY, MALE - on tea and dinner occasions etc.  Given that females are specified in the SHPO, I thought this would be permitted.  No, said the police officer. The officer made me ring the family in question and obliged me to disclose my offence to them.  The officer then rang them to confirm what I had told him about my contact with the boy in question - never unsupervised, never babysat etc.  Children's services have been informed about all this.

The officer has confirmed that I committed no criminal offence, and that it was being treated as a 'safeguarding' matter.

My question is: can the police override (or at least interpret as they wish) the wording of an SHPO, handed down by the court?

This isn't overriding the SHPO, it's something different. They said it wasn't a breach of the SHPO, because it wasn't. However, the one-size-fits-all approach means nobody on the SOR can have contact with children regardless of what might be on their SHPO/SOPO, which is a matter for the police to pass to child services to consider. These situations can sometimes require written consent from the parent/guardian.

Is that correct?  The SOR requirements cover giving your details to the police and notifying them of foreign travel. All the other conditions, regarding contact with children etc, are covered by the individual's SHPO.

SOR requires you to report if you are in a household for more than 12 hours where someone under 18 resides. Unless it was a very long meal that shouldn't apply. Safeguarding more generally I wouldn't know, I'd have thought they would have had to do a risk assessment before forcing a disclosure, and the fact that your SHPO only applies females suggests that a risk assessment in the past didn't consider males to be relevant. If you are on licence, it may be possible that you have other conditions too. My partner had more onerous conditions for a few months after release that no longer apply now.

Yes, the SOR notification requirements are clear. However, this general approach to safeguarding is that the police tell social services so that they can do a risk assessment. That may be a matter of policy rather than law, but as it seems to be the policy of many police forces, it might have been decided by the National Police Chiefs Council. In any case, that's what they do, and I can't see anyone with any authority disagreeing with them.

=========================================================

As Chris Stacey said: Although its not formally part of the sentence that is handed down in court, the criminal record that someone comes away with effectively becomes a second sentence, which can have a long-lasting, if not lifelong, impact.

punter99
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AB2014 - 13 Feb 20 12:32 PM
Zack - 13 Feb 20 12:25 PM
punter99 - 13 Feb 20 11:58 AM
AB2014 - 13 Feb 20 11:36 AM
Trevor - 13 Feb 20 10:41 AM
My SHPO prevents me from associating etc with females under 16 - 'FEMALES' is specified in the order.  On a recent visit by the police to my house to check my computer use and so on I was asked if I'd had any contact with children in the last 12 months. I said yes.  Through a family I know, I'd been in the presence of a 3-year old boy - BOY, MALE - on tea and dinner occasions etc.  Given that females are specified in the SHPO, I thought this would be permitted.  No, said the police officer. The officer made me ring the family in question and obliged me to disclose my offence to them.  The officer then rang them to confirm what I had told him about my contact with the boy in question - never unsupervised, never babysat etc.  Children's services have been informed about all this.

The officer has confirmed that I committed no criminal offence, and that it was being treated as a 'safeguarding' matter.

My question is: can the police override (or at least interpret as they wish) the wording of an SHPO, handed down by the court?

This isn't overriding the SHPO, it's something different. They said it wasn't a breach of the SHPO, because it wasn't. However, the one-size-fits-all approach means nobody on the SOR can have contact with children regardless of what might be on their SHPO/SOPO, which is a matter for the police to pass to child services to consider. These situations can sometimes require written consent from the parent/guardian.

Is that correct?  The SOR requirements cover giving your details to the police and notifying them of foreign travel. All the other conditions, regarding contact with children etc, are covered by the individual's SHPO.

SOR requires you to report if you are in a household for more than 12 hours where someone under 18 resides. Unless it was a very long meal that shouldn't apply. Safeguarding more generally I wouldn't know, I'd have thought they would have had to do a risk assessment before forcing a disclosure, and the fact that your SHPO only applies females suggests that a risk assessment in the past didn't consider males to be relevant. If you are on licence, it may be possible that you have other conditions too. My partner had more onerous conditions for a few months after release that no longer apply now.

Yes, the SOR notification requirements are clear. However, this general approach to safeguarding is that the police tell social services so that they can do a risk assessment. That may be a matter of policy rather than law, but as it seems to be the policy of many police forces, it might have been decided by the National Police Chiefs Council. In any case, that's what they do, and I can't see anyone with any authority disagreeing with them.

I forgot about the 12 hour rule, but that is still just a requirement to notify, it is not a ban on contact with children. The PPU cannot vary the terms of an SHPO without going to court. Plus, the SOR, on it's own, doesn't stop an offender having contact with children. To say that nobody on the SOR is allowed contact with children is not correct.

What is true though, is the PPU have a wide range of powers to interfere in someone's life, under their public protection remit. In relation to this case, they have a power to disclose to the child's parent, provided it is necessary and proportionate to the risk involved, and that there is no other way to address the risk. The interesting thing about the way this SHPO was written is that it left a loophole, presumably because the court felt there was no risk of harm to male children.

From a practical point of view, any contact with any children, even if not specifically forbidden by the SHPO, will raise questions in the PPU's suspicious minds. If this was a one-off incident of supervised contact, you could argue disclosure was not proportionate to the risk involved. Giving the offender an unofficial warning to stay away from kids, might have been a more suitable response. If it happened more than once, then disclosure would be inevitable, and if the PPU were really worried, they could, as a last resort, go back to the court and ask for the SHPO to be changed, to ban all contact with male children as well.

The reality of life on the SOR is that you should probably avoid any and all contact with kids, just in case. No matter what the court thought about your level of risk, when drawing up the SHPO, the PPU always assume the worst. They believe all SO are looking for a chance to reoffend, at every opportunity.

People whose offences were committed on the internet are presumed to be just contact offenders, who haven't had a chance to commit a contact offence yet. An SO who goes on holiday, to say, Thailand, will be assumed, by the PPU, to be going there to commit an offence. It could just be that the person fancied a holiday in Thailand, but the PPU won't accept that. They couldn't care less that the SO has no foreign travel restrictions on his SHPO, or that his offences were non-contact. The presumption of guilt, based on their own assessment of his risk, will outweigh all of that.

You could challenge the PPUs interpretation of the SHPO, but if you did that, they might interpret it as you having 'negative orientation to rules' and increase your risk. That would mean more frequent visits and greater scrutiny of your life. If they wanted, they could to go to court to make your SHPO even more restrictive and you would be made to pay the court costs for that. In short, it isn't worth the grief. Unless they are making your life unbearable, it's better to be compliant and go along with their requests.


Trevor
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punter99 - 14 Feb 20 10:32 AM
AB2014 - 13 Feb 20 12:32 PM
Zack - 13 Feb 20 12:25 PM
punter99 - 13 Feb 20 11:58 AM
AB2014 - 13 Feb 20 11:36 AM
Trevor - 13 Feb 20 10:41 AM
My SHPO prevents me from associating etc with females under 16 - 'FEMALES' is specified in the order.  On a recent visit by the police to my house to check my computer use and so on I was asked if I'd had any contact with children in the last 12 months. I said yes.  Through a family I know, I'd been in the presence of a 3-year old boy - BOY, MALE - on tea and dinner occasions etc.  Given that females are specified in the SHPO, I thought this would be permitted.  No, said the police officer. The officer made me ring the family in question and obliged me to disclose my offence to them.  The officer then rang them to confirm what I had told him about my contact with the boy in question - never unsupervised, never babysat etc.  Children's services have been informed about all this.

The officer has confirmed that I committed no criminal offence, and that it was being treated as a 'safeguarding' matter.

My question is: can the police override (or at least interpret as they wish) the wording of an SHPO, handed down by the court?

This isn't overriding the SHPO, it's something different. They said it wasn't a breach of the SHPO, because it wasn't. However, the one-size-fits-all approach means nobody on the SOR can have contact with children regardless of what might be on their SHPO/SOPO, which is a matter for the police to pass to child services to consider. These situations can sometimes require written consent from the parent/guardian.

Is that correct?  The SOR requirements cover giving your details to the police and notifying them of foreign travel. All the other conditions, regarding contact with children etc, are covered by the individual's SHPO.

SOR requires you to report if you are in a household for more than 12 hours where someone under 18 resides. Unless it was a very long meal that shouldn't apply. Safeguarding more generally I wouldn't know, I'd have thought they would have had to do a risk assessment before forcing a disclosure, and the fact that your SHPO only applies females suggests that a risk assessment in the past didn't consider males to be relevant. If you are on licence, it may be possible that you have other conditions too. My partner had more onerous conditions for a few months after release that no longer apply now.

Yes, the SOR notification requirements are clear. However, this general approach to safeguarding is that the police tell social services so that they can do a risk assessment. That may be a matter of policy rather than law, but as it seems to be the policy of many police forces, it might have been decided by the National Police Chiefs Council. In any case, that's what they do, and I can't see anyone with any authority disagreeing with them.

I forgot about the 12 hour rule, but that is still just a requirement to notify, it is not a ban on contact with children. The PPU cannot vary the terms of an SHPO without going to court. Plus, the SOR, on it's own, doesn't stop an offender having contact with children. To say that nobody on the SOR is allowed contact with children is not correct.

What is true though, is the PPU have a wide range of powers to interfere in someone's life, under their public protection remit. In relation to this case, they have a power to disclose to the child's parent, provided it is necessary and proportionate to the risk involved, and that there is no other way to address the risk. The interesting thing about the way this SHPO was written is that it left a loophole, presumably because the court felt there was no risk of harm to male children.

From a practical point of view, any contact with any children, even if not specifically forbidden by the SHPO, will raise questions in the PPU's suspicious minds. If this was a one-off incident of supervised contact, you could argue disclosure was not proportionate to the risk involved. Giving the offender an unofficial warning to stay away from kids, might have been a more suitable response. If it happened more than once, then disclosure would be inevitable, and if the PPU were really worried, they could, as a last resort, go back to the court and ask for the SHPO to be changed, to ban all contact with male children as well.

The reality of life on the SOR is that you should probably avoid any and all contact with kids, just in case. No matter what the court thought about your level of risk, when drawing up the SHPO, the PPU always assume the worst. They believe all SO are looking for a chance to reoffend, at every opportunity.

People whose offences were committed on the internet are presumed to be just contact offenders, who haven't had a chance to commit a contact offence yet. An SO who goes on holiday, to say, Thailand, will be assumed, by the PPU, to be going there to commit an offence. It could just be that the person fancied a holiday in Thailand, but the PPU won't accept that. They couldn't care less that the SO has no foreign travel restrictions on his SHPO, or that his offences were non-contact. The presumption of guilt, based on their own assessment of his risk, will outweigh all of that.

You could challenge the PPUs interpretation of the SHPO, but if you did that, they might interpret it as you having 'negative orientation to rules' and increase your risk. That would mean more frequent visits and greater scrutiny of your life. If they wanted, they could to go to court to make your SHPO even more restrictive and you would be made to pay the court costs for that. In short, it isn't worth the grief. Unless they are making your life unbearable, it's better to be compliant and go along with their requests.


Thanks very much to you all for these helpful and interesting replies. It seems that a little power is a dangerous thing, and the PP officer I've been designated enjoys exercising it. They're not safeguarding families, they're destroying them. 
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Trevor - 2 Mar 20 12:16 PM
punter99 - 14 Feb 20 10:32 AM
AB2014 - 13 Feb 20 12:32 PM
Zack - 13 Feb 20 12:25 PM
punter99 - 13 Feb 20 11:58 AM
AB2014 - 13 Feb 20 11:36 AM
Trevor - 13 Feb 20 10:41 AM
My SHPO prevents me from associating etc with females under 16 - 'FEMALES' is specified in the order.  On a recent visit by the police to my house to check my computer use and so on I was asked if I'd had any contact with children in the last 12 months. I said yes.  Through a family I know, I'd been in the presence of a 3-year old boy - BOY, MALE - on tea and dinner occasions etc.  Given that females are specified in the SHPO, I thought this would be permitted.  No, said the police officer. The officer made me ring the family in question and obliged me to disclose my offence to them.  The officer then rang them to confirm what I had told him about my contact with the boy in question - never unsupervised, never babysat etc.  Children's services have been informed about all this.

The officer has confirmed that I committed no criminal offence, and that it was being treated as a 'safeguarding' matter.

My question is: can the police override (or at least interpret as they wish) the wording of an SHPO, handed down by the court?

This isn't overriding the SHPO, it's something different. They said it wasn't a breach of the SHPO, because it wasn't. However, the one-size-fits-all approach means nobody on the SOR can have contact with children regardless of what might be on their SHPO/SOPO, which is a matter for the police to pass to child services to consider. These situations can sometimes require written consent from the parent/guardian.

Is that correct?  The SOR requirements cover giving your details to the police and notifying them of foreign travel. All the other conditions, regarding contact with children etc, are covered by the individual's SHPO.

SOR requires you to report if you are in a household for more than 12 hours where someone under 18 resides. Unless it was a very long meal that shouldn't apply. Safeguarding more generally I wouldn't know, I'd have thought they would have had to do a risk assessment before forcing a disclosure, and the fact that your SHPO only applies females suggests that a risk assessment in the past didn't consider males to be relevant. If you are on licence, it may be possible that you have other conditions too. My partner had more onerous conditions for a few months after release that no longer apply now.

Yes, the SOR notification requirements are clear. However, this general approach to safeguarding is that the police tell social services so that they can do a risk assessment. That may be a matter of policy rather than law, but as it seems to be the policy of many police forces, it might have been decided by the National Police Chiefs Council. In any case, that's what they do, and I can't see anyone with any authority disagreeing with them.

I forgot about the 12 hour rule, but that is still just a requirement to notify, it is not a ban on contact with children. The PPU cannot vary the terms of an SHPO without going to court. Plus, the SOR, on it's own, doesn't stop an offender having contact with children. To say that nobody on the SOR is allowed contact with children is not correct.

What is true though, is the PPU have a wide range of powers to interfere in someone's life, under their public protection remit. In relation to this case, they have a power to disclose to the child's parent, provided it is necessary and proportionate to the risk involved, and that there is no other way to address the risk. The interesting thing about the way this SHPO was written is that it left a loophole, presumably because the court felt there was no risk of harm to male children.

From a practical point of view, any contact with any children, even if not specifically forbidden by the SHPO, will raise questions in the PPU's suspicious minds. If this was a one-off incident of supervised contact, you could argue disclosure was not proportionate to the risk involved. Giving the offender an unofficial warning to stay away from kids, might have been a more suitable response. If it happened more than once, then disclosure would be inevitable, and if the PPU were really worried, they could, as a last resort, go back to the court and ask for the SHPO to be changed, to ban all contact with male children as well.

The reality of life on the SOR is that you should probably avoid any and all contact with kids, just in case. No matter what the court thought about your level of risk, when drawing up the SHPO, the PPU always assume the worst. They believe all SO are looking for a chance to reoffend, at every opportunity.

People whose offences were committed on the internet are presumed to be just contact offenders, who haven't had a chance to commit a contact offence yet. An SO who goes on holiday, to say, Thailand, will be assumed, by the PPU, to be going there to commit an offence. It could just be that the person fancied a holiday in Thailand, but the PPU won't accept that. They couldn't care less that the SO has no foreign travel restrictions on his SHPO, or that his offences were non-contact. The presumption of guilt, based on their own assessment of his risk, will outweigh all of that.

You could challenge the PPUs interpretation of the SHPO, but if you did that, they might interpret it as you having 'negative orientation to rules' and increase your risk. That would mean more frequent visits and greater scrutiny of your life. If they wanted, they could to go to court to make your SHPO even more restrictive and you would be made to pay the court costs for that. In short, it isn't worth the grief. Unless they are making your life unbearable, it's better to be compliant and go along with their requests.


Thanks very much to you all for these helpful and interesting replies. It seems that a little power is a dangerous thing, and the PP officer I've been designated enjoys exercising it. They're not safeguarding families, they're destroying them. 

Agreed Trevor, I've recently had to miss a significant family event and Christmas events have also been ruined for years now because of one-size-fits-all rules.
When all you've got left is mostly family you want to BE with your loved ones, especially at significant events. But no, alienation and isolation is clearly the way to solving all the problems...!


=====
Fighting or Accepting - its difficult to know which is right and when.
Edited
7 Months Ago by Mr W
AB2014
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punter99 - 14 Feb 20 10:32 AM
AB2014 - 13 Feb 20 12:32 PM
Zack - 13 Feb 20 12:25 PM
punter99 - 13 Feb 20 11:58 AM
AB2014 - 13 Feb 20 11:36 AM
Trevor - 13 Feb 20 10:41 AM
My SHPO prevents me from associating etc with females under 16 - 'FEMALES' is specified in the order.  On a recent visit by the police to my house to check my computer use and so on I was asked if I'd had any contact with children in the last 12 months. I said yes.  Through a family I know, I'd been in the presence of a 3-year old boy - BOY, MALE - on tea and dinner occasions etc.  Given that females are specified in the SHPO, I thought this would be permitted.  No, said the police officer. The officer made me ring the family in question and obliged me to disclose my offence to them.  The officer then rang them to confirm what I had told him about my contact with the boy in question - never unsupervised, never babysat etc.  Children's services have been informed about all this.

The officer has confirmed that I committed no criminal offence, and that it was being treated as a 'safeguarding' matter.

My question is: can the police override (or at least interpret as they wish) the wording of an SHPO, handed down by the court?

This isn't overriding the SHPO, it's something different. They said it wasn't a breach of the SHPO, because it wasn't. However, the one-size-fits-all approach means nobody on the SOR can have contact with children regardless of what might be on their SHPO/SOPO, which is a matter for the police to pass to child services to consider. These situations can sometimes require written consent from the parent/guardian.

Is that correct?  The SOR requirements cover giving your details to the police and notifying them of foreign travel. All the other conditions, regarding contact with children etc, are covered by the individual's SHPO.

SOR requires you to report if you are in a household for more than 12 hours where someone under 18 resides. Unless it was a very long meal that shouldn't apply. Safeguarding more generally I wouldn't know, I'd have thought they would have had to do a risk assessment before forcing a disclosure, and the fact that your SHPO only applies females suggests that a risk assessment in the past didn't consider males to be relevant. If you are on licence, it may be possible that you have other conditions too. My partner had more onerous conditions for a few months after release that no longer apply now.

Yes, the SOR notification requirements are clear. However, this general approach to safeguarding is that the police tell social services so that they can do a risk assessment. That may be a matter of policy rather than law, but as it seems to be the policy of many police forces, it might have been decided by the National Police Chiefs Council. In any case, that's what they do, and I can't see anyone with any authority disagreeing with them.

I forgot about the 12 hour rule, but that is still just a requirement to notify, it is not a ban on contact with children. The PPU cannot vary the terms of an SHPO without going to court. Plus, the SOR, on it's own, doesn't stop an offender having contact with children. To say that nobody on the SOR is allowed contact with children is not correct.

What is true though, is the PPU have a wide range of powers to interfere in someone's life, under their public protection remit. In relation to this case, they have a power to disclose to the child's parent, provided it is necessary and proportionate to the risk involved, and that there is no other way to address the risk. The interesting thing about the way this SHPO was written is that it left a loophole, presumably because the court felt there was no risk of harm to male children.

From a practical point of view, any contact with any children, even if not specifically forbidden by the SHPO, will raise questions in the PPU's suspicious minds. If this was a one-off incident of supervised contact, you could argue disclosure was not proportionate to the risk involved. Giving the offender an unofficial warning to stay away from kids, might have been a more suitable response. If it happened more than once, then disclosure would be inevitable, and if the PPU were really worried, they could, as a last resort, go back to the court and ask for the SHPO to be changed, to ban all contact with male children as well.

The reality of life on the SOR is that you should probably avoid any and all contact with kids, just in case. No matter what the court thought about your level of risk, when drawing up the SHPO, the PPU always assume the worst. They believe all SO are looking for a chance to reoffend, at every opportunity.

People whose offences were committed on the internet are presumed to be just contact offenders, who haven't had a chance to commit a contact offence yet. An SO who goes on holiday, to say, Thailand, will be assumed, by the PPU, to be going there to commit an offence. It could just be that the person fancied a holiday in Thailand, but the PPU won't accept that. They couldn't care less that the SO has no foreign travel restrictions on his SHPO, or that his offences were non-contact. The presumption of guilt, based on their own assessment of his risk, will outweigh all of that.

You could challenge the PPUs interpretation of the SHPO, but if you did that, they might interpret it as you having 'negative orientation to rules' and increase your risk. That would mean more frequent visits and greater scrutiny of your life. If they wanted, they could to go to court to make your SHPO even more restrictive and you would be made to pay the court costs for that. In short, it isn't worth the grief. Unless they are making your life unbearable, it's better to be compliant and go along with their requests.


You are absolutely right that saying that nobody on the SOR is allowed contact with children is not correct. That's not what I said. The police tell social services, who then do what they do in line with local policies. It doesn't mean that nobody on the SOR can have contact with children, although that appears to be what often happens, subject to the inevitable postcode lottery. This isn't just about the police, it's more about social services, and various departments and individuals have had plenty of criticism and vilification in recent years for that to have a general effect.

For foreign travel, some forces do a proper risk assessment of the person and the destination, while others just seem to issue an Interpol notice automatically, regardless of the details.

The SHPO isn't really relevant to this issue, as it doesn't include the restriction that has been discussed, and the safeguarding concerns policy takes no account of whether there even is an SHPO in force. It's all about how they see their separate duty of safeguarding, and they would raise any concerns with social services, even if the person in question never got a caution or conviction.

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As Chris Stacey said: Although its not formally part of the sentence that is handed down in court, the criminal record that someone comes away with effectively becomes a second sentence, which can have a long-lasting, if not lifelong, impact.

GO


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