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Possible future step-grandchildren... who do I need to disclose to about SHOPO and register?


Possible future step-grandchildren... who do I need to disclose to...

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DekaRed
DekaRed
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I have spent time in prison for sexual offences, and am on the register with a SHOPO. One of the conditions says "not allowed to be around children, unless their parent or guardian is there"

I am currently very friendly with a lady, who is a grandmother. All her kids are around 40, and she occasionally plays host to her grandchildren who range from 3-21. I have met some of her grown-up children, who know about my friendliness with their mother.

I have disclosed to the lady in question, and she supports me fully. My question is, is that as far as the disclosures need to go? She may be completely understanding and supportive, but if I also have to disclose to her children, it may cause huge problems.

We have not entered into a relationship yet for a number of reasons, and this is something we are both quite concerned with. If I was to ever be around the grandchildren, would their parents need to know about me, or is their grandmother knowing sufficient? It is unlikely I would ever be around them without the grandmother being present.

JASB
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DekaRed - 9 Apr 20 1:58 PM
I have spent time in prison for sexual offences, and am on the register with a SHOPO. One of the conditions says "not allowed to be around children, unless their parent or guardian is there"

I am currently very friendly with a lady, who is a grandmother. All her kids are around 40, and she occasionally plays host to her grandchildren who range from 3-21. I have met some of her grown-up children, who know about my friendliness with their mother.

I have disclosed to the lady in question, and she supports me fully. My question is, is that as far as the disclosures need to go? She may be completely understanding and supportive, but if I also have to disclose to her children, it may cause huge problems.

We have not entered into a relationship yet for a number of reasons, and this is something we are both quite concerned with. If I was to ever be around the grandchildren, would their parents need to know about me, or is their grandmother knowing sufficient? It is unlikely I would ever be around them without the grandmother being present.

Hi

Thank you for not only being honest to the lady but also trying to ensure your personal future is protected.

I am on the SOR and SOPO - Paying for sexual services - and have 2 conditions relating to notifications to parents/gaurdians of a female under 16.

I am not sure if the wording you used is an accurate extract as it seems to suggest you do not have to tell anyone but do have to ensure the parents/gaurdians is present?
from my expereince I would of thought you would of have to inform them.

Example, a couple of years ago I had a relationship with a lady, no children BUT her cousin had a son. I disclosed to the lady in my relationship and, unknown to me, she told her cousin who had no issues. I informed my PPU and they had no issues as he was male, I was low risk etc etc.

However the relationship ended and I moved regions. My new PPU asked about the cousin and my relationship / suppervision of the boy. Much to my dismay and even though my SOPO states "females" they contacted the social services of my old region and started an investigation. Though I knew my conduct was beyond reproach their actions caused distress to the family and especially the boy as he had no idea what was happening.
The final straw was they did not even have the decentancy to reply to them or me about their conclusions.

The reason I am providing the above information is for numerious reasons but above all it shows that no matter what, you have to protect yourself first and as best as you can.
If your condition suggests or there is any ambuguity at all you would be best to disclose. Your partner sees your character and if she is willing, ask her to be there when you disclose. Ensure you do that in a thoughtful and not sympathy seeking manner. If this appears to create a rift between your partner and her family then; personally, I would end the relationship so not to cause harm to your partners family relationships.

You will recieve many replies but you have to remember the replies will be opinions only. You have the documents infront of you so again to protect yourself.
Either (1) get legal advice: solicitor, probation office or PPU. In regard to the last two you could say you are just enquiring for clarification purposes as that is down to your relationship with them. You would probably get follow up questions but once you declare the relationship you would anyway.
(2) Protect yourself by disclosing. This way at least you would understand if the relationship really has a future and the past generally does catch up with you.

Good luck and look forward to hearing about your decission.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope is for tomorrow else what is left if you remove a mans hope.
DekaRed
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I apologise, the extract I posted was from memory. I have the document in front of me now. It reads

The defendant is prohibited from "Having any form of contact or communication with any child under the age of 16 years unless that child is in the presence of their parent or guardian, save for such contact as may be deemed unavoidable in everyday life."

Occasionally though, PPU will ask about the groups I attend, and whether any children are present. They aren't, but they have said in the past that it may cause issues if children were present. As in I may have to stop attending. But surely those children would be in the presence of their parent or guardian, and so I fail to see the issue.

JASB
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DekaRed - 9 Apr 20 5:16 PM
I apologise, the extract I posted was from memory. I have the document in front of me now. It reads

The defendant is prohibited from "Having any form of contact or communication with any child under the age of 16 years unless that child is in the presence of their parent or guardian, save for such contact as may be deemed unavoidable in everyday life."

Occasionally though, PPU will ask about the groups I attend, and whether any children are present. They aren't, but they have said in the past that it may cause issues if children were present. As in I may have to stop attending. But surely those children would be in the presence of their parent or guardian, and so I fail to see the issue.

Hi, thanks for the clarification.

I am on your side so please think about that when reading my words.

(a) You say you are just friendly with the lady so it seems you are at the start of a relationship. She accepts your past and I assume she is aware of your restrictions. This being the case do ensure she understands your concerns and so wish to remain distant from her family until you are sure of the future together. However even in this scenario I am not sure what the PPU would say in regard to disclosing to her children etc.  Gut feeling is that would say disclose.
(b) I assume the PPU do not know you are in a relationship or have talked about the possibility? If they have, have they discussed possible family structure and their concerns?
(c) 
they have said in the past that it may cause issues if children were present.
Take this as their informing you of their view and so provide a hint to the answer you are searching for. 
(d) 
But surely those children would be in the presence of their parent or guardian
. Two points. (a) Many children are left with grandparents or extended family and yes your lady could be described as a guardian but, I think that disclosure would not be dismissed in cases like ours. Reason for is that you all could be watching TV and your lady goes to the toilet or kitchen. In my scenario; I mentioned above, that was a point put to me.
(e) you are looking at this through the logic of a defence and they are looking at it from a view of suspicion! No matter your thoughts about yourself they will always do that, therefore always think about it from their view. The old saying plan for the worse.
(f) Remember in scenario the PPU told you to act, how would they report that in your records? Denial of offence?

Ask yourself this. How would you feel if you did not disclose but the PPU contacted them or forced you to do so. You could be accepted and that would be perfect BUT, the PPU would / could then contact the social services so would that change their thoughts? If so the pressure / anger could then be placed on your lady by the family because of the repercussions they endure In brief "you are making them a victim" so would your relationship last. Also if the relationship ended badly would the family discuss it with their friends etc? How would that be managed.

I would suggest asking your lady what her thoughts are, but in the end no matter the different scenarios we consider, I am sure her relationship with her family would be a priority over yours; unfortunately.
I will finish as I started, your main priority should be your own protection; especially emotional. It may turn out that a decision to disclose gives the results as you desire; who can tell. 
In the end you have to minimse the issues you have to face due to a past mistake.

Support is always here, even if not in the words you hope to hear.



Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope is for tomorrow else what is left if you remove a mans hope.
Eddy
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Hi DekaRed

Congratulations on having the confidence to disclose to your new lady friend, it is lovely to hear you have found somebody who is so supportive.

I am sure your dilemma of whether to make further disclosure to her grown children is causing you much anxiety as is the thought of possible involvement by PPU.

My question to you would be - how is your relationship with PPU? My own personal experience has been that they are generally supportive of forming new relationships (how else are we supposed to re-enter normal society) but equally have a duty of disclosure where and when appropriate to ensure safeguarding at all times. You have been open and honest with your new lady friend who is presumably also aware of the conditions of your SHPO. As such she is in a strong position to act as a protective factor where grandchildren are concerned. 

My advice would be to consider arranging a private meeting between yourself, your new lady friend, the Probation Service and PPU to discuss things, this may sound scary but with the correct support you may be able to find a balance that works for all.

Good luck and please let us know how you get on,

Eddy
punter99
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I think JASB has covered most of it. What I would add, is that the police guidance on disclosure says it should only be considered, if there is no other, reasonable way, to address the potential risk. Too often, I think the PPU see disclosure as their first option, not their last option.

From a practical point of view, why not agree with the lady, that anytime the grandchildren are due to visit, you will make yourself scarce. That way there can be no chance of being left alone with them, even for a few minutes. Tell the PPU that this is the agreement you have come to and that they are welcome to speak to her, to confirm you are not lying. They are going to do that anyway, but by offering it to them, it makes it clear you have nothing to hide.

That seems like a reasonable way to address the risk, without a need to disclose to anyone else. If the relationship gets more serious, then it may be harder to explain why you are 'elsewhere', every time the children come round, but disclosing to other people now, isn't proportionate to the risk.

JASB
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DekaRed - 9 Apr 20 5:16 PM
I apologise, the extract I posted was from memory. I have the document in front of me now. It reads

The defendant is prohibited from "Having any form of contact or communication with any child under the age of 16 years unless that child is in the presence of their parent or guardian, save for such contact as may be deemed unavoidable in everyday life."

Occasionally though, PPU will ask about the groups I attend, and whether any children are present. They aren't, but they have said in the past that it may cause issues if children were present. As in I may have to stop attending. But surely those children would be in the presence of their parent or guardian, and so I fail to see the issue.

Hi
You will be reading very supportive advice and encouragement which will hopefully allow you to understand your predicament is a common one so you are not alone.
Quite rightly you should consider and possibly mix the suggestions together to help you decide. 

As I mentioned, a lot depends on your PPU and their policies no matter your relationship with them. By that I mean they may appreciate the way you are managing the contact but may possibly still investigate to be compliant with their Force's procedures. It is not our place to be critical of their procedures but we do have to consider; in our scenarios, who they are primarily responsible for and to.

In the end, no matter your decision I am sure you will make the right one.

I will conclude with a quote I heard recently.
Lies are a debt on the quality of your life. Every debt has to be repaid at sometime. Remember though, the longer it takes the higher the interest.
 




Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope is for tomorrow else what is left if you remove a mans hope.
Debbie Sadler
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Hi All

Hope that you're all keeping safe and well during lock-down. Really good to see continuing activity on theForum.

This thread is quite timely as one of the things I'd like to do this year is to put together some new information on disclosing convictions to friends, family, partners etc. We already have a page on relationships, children and social services which covers disclosure to a new partner if you've been convicted of a sexual offence and I'd like this information to be a bit broader, covering disclosure of any type of offence to old/new friends, family etc.

So, I'm looking for some help with this.
  • Have you disclosed your conviction to friends?
  • If not, what stopped you?
  • If you did disclose, what worked? What didn't.

Would be great to hear from as many of you as possible.

Keep well and keep posting.

Debs



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Mr W
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When I've had a face-to-face discussion with people there has been more understanding(?) than those who found out through the press. I had planned to tell SOME people after court but I didn't think I'd be in the press, that screwed up SO much more than it had to for me (and STILL does thanks to Google), all for some extra pennies for ad revenue for papers. Some of my oldest friends read the newspapers and didn't even give me a chance to talk to them, blocked me on every social media etc and wouldn't respond when I got in touch.

As a first time offender, I had absolutely no clue about disclosure and was mortified when I first heard about me having to voluntarily tell people what I did. Even now I just about understand it, but it turns my stomach and I think it does far more damage than good.
I also didn't realise that a couple of my friends HAD to cut off contact with me because of their job! Friendships were ending one-by-one at the worst time of my life when I needed them. It was horrific. But hey, it doesn't matter because I brought it on myself, right? Well, no, because I'm a human being and your head can only take in so much at once. On top of losing my job, losing my relationship, losing my house, losing the many social circles I was part of. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. It's too much!

Thanks to the Google effect, those that a) don't need to be disclosed to and b) that I chose not to tell - on some occasions have found out themselves via Google or gossip+Google.
So that feels that I have to just put up with being confronted by anyone at any time and have to go through it all again and again. Each time doesn't get any easier because of the amount of shock that comes with what is such a secretive crime in the first place. Then, in some cases people *don't want to hear* any answers anyway because 1) they're usually in shock and 2) the answer to 'why' isn't a nice and simple easy-to-understand sentence.
I'm very open and honest when I discuss things and always answer any questions they have in the most sensitive way I can.
Something that surprised me was that the number of female friends, even those with kids, have been more supportive than the number of male friends. But that's a very small sample.
Some people waited a while before giving me the chance to talk to them and I've managed to salvage a small number of friendships, but are things the same? No.
Some have phased me out too after a conversation. They're unavailable to meet for a coffee, then unavailable for this... that... and the other and don't make an effort to reschedule.
Some said they needed some time before talking to me and... they're still taking that time and it's now been a few years. So, it's tough to know whether to speak to them or not.
The reactions just vary too much to even try and predict who will react in which way and frankly I'm sick of playing roulette now and I just want to get on with my life.

I sometimes get - "Isn't it easier just to tell everyone and be done with it?" No, because of roulette of reactions and inevitable gossip. Even if people say they won't tell, they will at least tell someone, that's not a criticism as I understand they might need to talk about it to someone else, but the more people know, the more people spread it with: "Oh, but I only told..."
I've found one of the hardest to deal with - silent treatment/no reaction after a conversation -leaves you wanting a reaction more, any reaction, just so you can understand their response. Then the addition of mutual friends feeling different to others etc etc it gets so messy.

I didn't go to jail and my probation is long finished but I still have to wait years and years for the SHPO to end to become 'unspent' so this can all end?! It's a farce. I understand it but it just doesn't work in reality because, especially in the current white-hot climate, the stigma is too big of a barrier when you tiptoe anywhere near that label I refuse to use.

Hope this helps and look forward to seeing other responses.

=====
Fighting or Accepting - its difficult to know which is right and when.
Edited
5 Months Ago by Mr W
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Mr W - 21 Apr 20 11:37 PM
When I've had a face-to-face discussion with people there has been more understanding(?) than those who found out through the press. I had planned to tell SOME people after court but I didn't think I'd be in the press, that screwed up SO much more than it had to for me (and STILL does thanks to Google), all for some page impressions online. Some of my oldest friends read the newspapers and didn't even give me a chance to talk to them, blocked me on every social media etc and wouldn't respond when I got in touch.

As a first time offender, I had absolutely no clue about disclosure and was mortified when I first heard about me having to voluntarily tell people what I did. Even now I just about understand it, but it turns my stomach and I think it does far more damage than good.
I also didn't realise that a couple of my friends HAD to cut off contact with me because of their job! Friendships were ending one-by-one at the worst time of my life when I needed them. It was horrific. But hey, it doesn't matter because I brought it on myself, right? Well, no, because I'm a human being and your head can only take in so much at once. On top of losing my job, losing my relationship, losing my house, losing the many social circles I was part of. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. It's too much!

Thanks to the Google effect, those that a) don't need to be disclosed to and b) that I chose not to tell - on some occasions have found out themselves via Google or gossip+Google.
So that feels that I have to just put up with being confronted by anyone at any time and have to go through it all again and again. Each time doesn't get any easier because of the amount of shock that comes with what is such a secretive crime in the first place. Then, in some cases people *don't want to hear* any answers anyway because 1) they're usually in shock and 2) the answer to 'why' isn't a nice and simple one easy sentence to understand.
I'm very open and honest when I discuss things and always answer any questions they have in the most sensitive way I can.
Something that surprised me was that the number of female friends, even those with kids, have been more supportive than the number of male friends. But that's a very small sample.
Some people waited a while before giving me the chance to talk to them and I've managed to salvage a small number of friendships, but are things the same? No.
Some have phased me out too after a conversation. They're unavailable to meet for a coffee, then unavailable for this... that... and the other and don't make an effort to reschedule.
Some said they needed some time before talking to me and... they're still taking that time and it's now been a few years. So, it's tough to know whether to speak to them or not.
The reactions just vary too much to even try and predict who will react in which way and frankly I'm sick of playing roulette now and I just want to get on with my life.

I sometimes get - "Isn't it easier just to tell everyone and be done with it?" No, because of roulette of reactions. I've found one of the hardest to deal with - silent treatment/no reaction after a conversation -leaves you wanting a reaction more, any reaction, just so you can understand their response. Then the addition of mutual friends feeling different to others etc etc it gets so messy.

I didn't go to jail and my probation is long finished but I still have to wait years and years for the SHPO to end to become 'unspent' so this can all end?! It's a farce. I understand it but it just doesn't work in reality because, especially in the current white-hot climate, the stigma is too big of a barrier when you tiptoe anywhere near that label I refuse to use.

Hope this helps and look forward to seeing other responses.

My experience has been pretty similar to yourself!

It was the local paper that basically made everything crumble down which then made its way to your average vigilante group who think they're doing good in the world when if anything they do more damage. The comments from complete strangers on their page bothered me slightly at first. With all the threats "Oh if I could be locked in a room with him for 1 hour he'd pray to get out!" bugger off, Karen. Let's be honest, you wouldn't really do anything. But I couldn't really care less about them now. It's just an initial knee-jerk reaction they all tend to have as they collectively foam at the mouth for the next scandal.

Pretty much all my friends have vanished off the face of the earth which I've accepted and come to terms with.

This lockdown thing I find is actually a small blessing and came at a good time. It gives people a good reason to not be out and about, there is financial support (having lost my job this is much appreciated and didn't exist a month ago).

I've kind of agreed with myself that it isn't something I'm ever going to pro-actively offer up to people - Everyone who I care about knows about it. If anyone asks me about it then of course I'll answer any questions they have.

I have no fear walking about in public (my initial outing to the public was about 5 months ago and nothing has happened). I have no fear of Joe Public, one thing that does weigh on me though is running in some people I know and them causing or at least attempting to cause a scene. I have zero issues just ignoring that person as if I've never met them in my life but you can't control other people's actions.




GO


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