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RSO: Informing police that I'm intending to move address - is it necessary?


RSO: Informing police that I'm intending to move address - is it...

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Teaspoon
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Hi, I've been lurking for a while and have found this forum to be very useful for information. Sorry I haven't participated sooner - I will certainly endeavour to do so from now on. I have a question for anyone that is an RSO regarding informing the police when you move address. 

I'm ashamed to say that I was convicted of an internet-related sexual offence in 2016 (although the offence was in 2013). I spent 2017 in custody and was released in 2018. I completed my license period at the beginning of this year and wish to move forward with my life. After my sentence, I moved back to live with my parents, who have been wonderful throughout this experience. However, I wish to move back to the city where I spent the last 20 years of my life (pre-conviction) as that's where I still have a lot of good friends who have been very supportive, despite my behaviour in 2013. Simply put, I wouldn't have made it through this without them! 

I contacted my previous landlord to see if he had any flats available, and it turns out he does have a couple, in the area that I lived for 10 years. He is unaware of my conviction; only that I left his property due to a personal crisis. Although I'm not on license, I thought it best to inform PPU of the plan and ask if the address was ok. I have always been compliant with PPU since my release and I received a glowing final report from my probation officer upon completion of my license. My risk was reduced accordingly and I continue to do everything I can to reduce it further. Anyway, PPU forwarded the details to the Police force in the area that I wish to move to. After waiting 2 weeks, I finally got a response that they had said no. The reason being that the address was in close proximity (about 1/2km) to a school. Just to be clear, my prior offence had nothing to do with schools. I asked about another address and the response was the same. The problem is, most places will be in the general vicinity of a school - it's quite difficult to find places that aren't. It would also be more straightforward to stick with properties that my previous landlord owns as I had a good relationship with him and I wouldn't require the usual references and credit checks. His are also the only flats that I've come across that would just about be covered by Housing Benefit. However, all of the properties are around the same area. 

This is obviously extremely frustrating. My PPU officer keeps telling me how important it is to find my own place and get some Independence back, as this statistically reduces risk. However, I am being blocked in doing so because of an imaginary risk. I say imaginary because it is not based on my previous offence. I realised that there is no legal requirement to inform the police that I intend to move - I am doing so purely as a courtesy. Nor do I have any restrictions regarding the location of my accommodation on the SHPO. According to the notification requirements, I am only required to inform police within 3 days of moving address. Also, 2 PPU officers have said that really, they can't stop me living anywhere, but it's best not to ruffle any feathers. My question is, what would happen if I just move to an address without telling them first? Especially as they've already disapproved. As far as I can see it, if there are no legal restrictions, then the negative response from the police is only advisory (?) I really don’t want to upset the police as I’m quite happy with the positive relationship I currently have with them (relative to the circumstances), but it seems I may have no choice. Does anyone on the forum have experience in this matter? I can find not a single piece of useful information online about this particular situation. I'm actually regretting asking them in the first place. If I had just moved, I could have claimed ignorance, but wouldn't have been breaking any rules. 

If anyone has any advice, I would really appreciate it. I apologise for the lengthy rambling - it's a habit of mine. 

Thanks for reading this, 

Teaspoon




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Teaspoon - 8 Jul 20 12:33 AM
Hi, I've been lurking for a while and have found this forum to be very useful for information. Sorry I haven't participated sooner - I will certainly endeavour to do so from now on. I have a question for anyone that is an RSO regarding informing the police when you move address. 

I'm ashamed to say that I was convicted of an internet-related sexual offence in 2016 (although the offence was in 2013). I spent 2017 in custody and was released in 2018. I completed my license period at the beginning of this year and wish to move forward with my life. After my sentence, I moved back to live with my parents, who have been wonderful throughout this experience. However, I wish to move back to the city where I spent the last 20 years of my life (pre-conviction) as that's where I still have a lot of good friends who have been very supportive, despite my behaviour in 2013. Simply put, I wouldn't have made it through this without them! 

I contacted my previous landlord to see if he had any flats available, and it turns out he does have a couple, in the area that I lived for 10 years. He is unaware of my conviction; only that I left his property due to a personal crisis. Although I'm not on license, I thought it best to inform PPU of the plan and ask if the address was ok. I have always been compliant with PPU since my release and I received a glowing final report from my probation officer upon completion of my license. My risk was reduced accordingly and I continue to do everything I can to reduce it further. Anyway, PPU forwarded the details to the Police force in the area that I wish to move to. After waiting 2 weeks, I finally got a response that they had said no. The reason being that the address was in close proximity (about 1/2km) to a school. Just to be clear, my prior offence had nothing to do with schools. I asked about another address and the response was the same. The problem is, most places will be in the general vicinity of a school - it's quite difficult to find places that aren't. It would also be more straightforward to stick with properties that my previous landlord owns as I had a good relationship with him and I wouldn't require the usual references and credit checks. His are also the only flats that I've come across that would just about be covered by Housing Benefit. However, all of the properties are around the same area. 

This is obviously extremely frustrating. My PPU officer keeps telling me how important it is to find my own place and get some Independence back, as this statistically reduces risk. However, I am being blocked in doing so because of an imaginary risk. I say imaginary because it is not based on my previous offence. I realised that there is no legal requirement to inform the police that I intend to move - I am doing so purely as a courtesy. Nor do I have any restrictions regarding the location of my accommodation on the SHPO. According to the notification requirements, I am only required to inform police within 3 days of moving address. Also, 2 PPU officers have said that really, they can't stop me living anywhere, but it's best not to ruffle any feathers. My question is, what would happen if I just move to an address without telling them first? Especially as they've already disapproved. As far as I can see it, if there are no legal restrictions, then the negative response from the police is only advisory (?) I really don’t want to upset the police as I’m quite happy with the positive relationship I currently have with them (relative to the circumstances), but it seems I may have no choice. Does anyone on the forum have experience in this matter? I can find not a single piece of useful information online about this particular situation. I'm actually regretting asking them in the first place. If I had just moved, I could have claimed ignorance, but wouldn't have been breaking any rules. 

If anyone has any advice, I would really appreciate it. I apologise for the lengthy rambling - it's a habit of mine. 

Thanks for reading this, 

Teaspoon




I was told similar things as I was planning to move myself, but I have now chosen to stay put. As much as I would love to move to a new area, start a fresh, meet new people with out fear of being recognized, better prospects for jobs. One of the things that has ultimately put me off from moving is partly the same thing you are experiencing. What would the new PPU be like with me? would he/she be worse or better than the one I have now? Will I be forced to disclose? If things got bad would I be homeless?

I could be wrong but if your PPU / Probation are basically telling you they can not stop you from moving, then surely the police force of the area you plan to move to has no right to simply tell you "no". Your only requirement as per the notification orders is to inform the nearest police force with in 3 days of you moving properties. So when you move into a new home you have 3 days from that date to go to a registered station and sign the register. Says nothing about getting "permission" to my knowledge, but I understand it is best to keep in the good books with anyone from the police given how quickly then can (and enjoy) ruining lives.

As for potential homes being near schools, I was fortunate that after my sentence I was able to keep my flat. I have not been asked to leave despite living near a school which at my best estimate is around 800 meters away from me.
If you still want to move and are still getting told "no" you could seek some legal advice if they offer a free 30 min consultation, or you could contact your local MP and see if he/she could sort something out. If you do this, get everything police say in writing.

Edited
Last Year by xDanx
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I can't say I'm really suprised by this story, because we see evidence of this kind of thing a lot, on these forums. In many cases the PPU are simply making up their own rules, which go far beyond what the individuals SHPO actually says.

The first place to start is with the wording of your particular SHPO. Some SHPOs will have restrictions on living near schools, for example, but others will not. I suspect the PPU in the new area haven't read your SHPO and are assuming that it contains certain restrictions, when it doesn't.

The second thing to consider is the R vs Smith (2011) ruling, which broadly states that SHPO restrictions must be necessary and proportionate to the actual risk, not some imagined risk. Necessary is defined as being a higher threshold than merely 'desireable'

The key paragraph is this one.

"Prohibitions on unsupervised contact with children should not be included in the case of those convicted of internet-based offences ‘just in case’ they progress to contact offences. Instead “There must be identifiable risk of contact offences before this kind of prohibition can be justified”;

Having been told by the PPU not to move to that address, I wouldn't just go ahead and do it anyway, because that might cause problems. But I would advise maybe writing to the Chief Constable in that area, pointing out what you've been told, reminding them of the R vs Smith ruling and telling them that you are an internet offender, not a contact offender and that your SHPO contains no restrictions on living near schools. As you mentioned that your probation officer gave you a glowing report, I would put that in the letter too.

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I've found it beneficial to be clear with my PPO about what is actually in my SHPO/SOR requirements, because they will always try to extend its scope under "colour of law".

For example, I cannot stay overnight at my niece's house without notifying the police because of the 12 hour rule, but I can take her on my own to a football match (or elsewhere) without having to notify them. Ironically when I was "innocent" but on police bail, it would have been illegal for me to have done so.

The line I've taken is to be firm as to your rights but not belligerent. It has worked so far.
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Thank you for the replies everyone! Some really useful viewpoints and insight. 

@xDanx

I must admit, I do worry about changing to a new force area and having to start the process from scratch with a new PPU. It seems like it's a bit of a lottery with getting a decent one. When my current PPU told me the decision, she did say that a lot of the time, RSOs don't inform PPU first. So they just move, notify and PPU have to accept it. It's interesting that 2 separate PPUs have said similar things, as though they're nearly hinting that I should just move and then deal with the local PPU once I'm there. 

I'm glad that you managed to keep hold of your flat; I would have given my right arm to be able to keep mine. As I mentioned, I have been very fortunate in that my friends have stuck by me, on the whole (not without criticism, of course). Sadly, I rarely see them now because I'm stuck in the wrong part of the country! My PPU has acknowledged that a move back to my previous area would be a good idea because of the support network I have there. 

@punter99

Thanks for the info. As I said, there is nothing in my SHPO restricting the location of any accommodation. So there really is no legal reason why the local PPU can refuse me living somewhere. If there's no legal basis, then can their response be seen as advisory only? While I can acknowledge their concerns with imaginary risks (not based on prior offending), surely I can also respectfully disagree? But you're right, I don't want to jeopardise a decent working relationship with PPU. It would be the first negative mark on my record since everything first happened. But then again, maybe they would just tut and move on - they've surely got bigger things to worry about. 

@Was

It was my own PPU that actually pointed out that there's no restrictions on my SHPO about the location of accommodation; just the usual retaining internet history etc. The problem is, I don't have direct line of contact with the PPU in the area I would be moving to. All communication is going through my own PPU, which doesn't help matters. 

I'm thinking if the landlord offers another flat, I should just take it and notify once I arrive. Then I haven't gone directly against the wishes of PPU in the new area and haven't broken any rules. My concern is more that PPU might see this as risky behaviour and increase my risk level or something similar. I'm also worried they could take it upon themselves to inform my landlord. But I'd imagine, they'd have to have an identifiable risk at the address to do that, which wouldn't be the case. I suppose it would be useful to know if anyone on this forum has done the move thing without informing PPU first. 

Thanks again, 

Teaspoon


Edited
Last Year by Teaspoon
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Teaspoon - 9 Jul 20 5:26 PM
Thank you for the replies everyone! Some really useful viewpoints and insight. 

@xDanx

I must admit, I do worry about changing to a new force area and having to start the process from scratch with a new PPU. It seems like it's a bit of a lottery with getting a decent one. When my current PPU told me the decision, she did say that a lot of the time, RSOs don't inform PPU first. So they just move, notify and PPU have to accept it. It's interesting that 2 separate PPUs have said similar things, as though they're nearly hinting that I should just move and then deal with the local PPU once I'm there. 

I'm glad that you managed to keep hold of your flat; I would have given my right arm to be able to keep mine. As I mentioned, I have been very fortunate in that my friends have stuck by me, on the whole (not without criticism, of course). Sadly, I rarely see them now because I'm stuck in the wrong part of the country! My PPU has acknowledged that a move back to my previous area would be a good idea because of the support network I have there. 

@punter99

Thanks for the info. As I said, there is nothing in my SHPO restricting the location of any accommodation. So there really is no legal reason why the local PPU can refuse me living somewhere. If there's no legal basis, then can their response be seen as advisory only? While I can acknowledge their concerns with imaginary risks (not based on prior offending), surely I can also respectfully disagree? But you're right, I don't want to jeopardise a decent working relationship with PPU. It would be the first negative mark on my record since everything first happened. But then again, maybe they would just tut and move on - they've surely got bigger things to worry about. 

@Was

It was my own PPU that actually pointed out that there's no restrictions on my SHPO about the location of accommodation; just the usual retaining internet history etc. The problem is, I don't have direct line of contact with the PPU in the area I would be moving to. All communication is going through my own PPU, which doesn't help matters. 

I'm thinking if the landlord offers another flat, I should just take it and notify once I arrive. Then I haven't gone directly against the wishes of PPU in the new area and haven't broken any rules. My concern is more that PPU might see this as risky behaviour and increase my risk level or something similar. I'm also worried they could take it upon themselves to inform my landlord. But I'd imagine, they'd have to have an identifiable risk at the address to do that, which wouldn't be the case. I suppose it would be useful to know if anyone on this forum has done the move thing without informing PPU first. 

Thanks again, 

Teaspoon


It's hard to say what might happen because you don't know the PPU in that area. You aren't doing anything wrong by moving, but they could see it as risky, because it could be interpreted as resistence to rules and supervision, since they told you not to move before. You would like to think they have bigger things to worry about, but the minds of the PPU are trained to see risk everywhere. They have probably already formed a totally distorted view of you, as someone who wants to live near schools, just so they can get access to kids. I know this is ridiculous and unfair, but that's how some of them behave.

I would stick to my original suggestion of writing to the Chief Constable, or you could write to your current PPU and tell them to pass the letter on to the new PPU. It's important to get a written record of what is happening now, so that there can be no misunderstanding later on. Don't ask for their permission, in the letter, simply tell them that you are moving to the area because you have a support network there. Point out to them that your SHPO has no restrictions on where you can live and that you are not a contact offender and say that you don't consider yourself as posing any risk to children. The wording of the letter should be polite but firm. Give it a couple of weeks and if they don't get back to you, then just move.

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Unless there is an active court order ie SHPO/SOPO that clearly states that you cant live in a certain area, there is nothing PPU can do. No ware in the sex offences act does it give police this power, and it does not require you to tell them where you are moving to before hand.

Being on the register does not give them that authority either. as per the notification periods of the register as long as you notify them of the change within the time limit then there is nothing they can do.

The only person that can have this authority is that of a probation officer as part of a persons license conditions. Once you are no longer under license then you are able to move and live where you wish.
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Simon1983 - 10 Jul 20 1:21 PM
Unless there is an active court order ie SHPO/SOPO that clearly states that you cant live in a certain area, there is nothing PPU can do. No ware in the sex offences act does it give police this power, and it does not require you to tell them where you are moving to before hand.

Being on the register does not give them that authority either. as per the notification periods of the register as long as you notify them of the change within the time limit then there is nothing they can do.

The only person that can have this authority is that of a probation officer as part of a persons license conditions. Once you are no longer under license then you are able to move and live where you wish.

You're right. There is nothing the PPU can do about it legally. They can't charge Teaspoon with breaching the SHPO, but what they can do is increase Teaspoons risk level. That would mean more frequent unannounced visits, more scrutiny, more intrusive questioning. If they thought that the risk was high enough, they could disclose to the landlord, maybe even disclose to the local schools in the area.

I'm not saying that they would do any of these things, but those are the sort of powers that they do have, at their disposal.

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Hi all,

Although I do agree with the majority of information provided by others, and I do not wish my words to be misinterpreted BUT, like I had to, you have to consider your approach to rebuilding your life and interface with others.

I do not and would not suggest you go down the line of being verbally critical in every interaction with the authorities however, constructive and polite questioning of them is and should be, fully acceptable.  It will also improve your confidence in high pressure interactions as well as demonstrating that you are re-developing your character to them. This means that as a "stronger minded" individual that is fully aware of the consequences of your past error of judgement, your risk of re-offending is lowering.

On the point of "risk" remember that every human being is a risk to another. Just because someone has not been arrested does not mean they are not a risk. It could be argued that someone who has gone through the system is less of a risk because of their knowledge of the consequences. We have to understand a paper document that states you are low risk will not remove any suspicion, assumptions, accusations towards you.  We as ex-offenders do clasp onto those two words for salvation where the authorities have their own "perspective and assumptions".  But that is for another day.

Having gone through the process of moving a couple of times, I do have experience of leaving the "presumed comfort blanket" of a PPU "department" - I had various supervisory officers so no continuity - for the unknown.

Each time "I wrote and informed them" of the move and reasons BUT also asked for the contact details of my new PPU department and signing on station. My decision to follow this process provided to the PPU a certain amount of confidence that: (1) I was complying with any "unwritten" expectations of my current PPU by assisting in the management of  myself for them. (2) I was showing my understanding of the SOR requirements and offered evidence of my knowledge for them that could be used against me if I did not register at my new area. This obviously would be passed on to the new PPU.

Though this process demonstrates my willingness to work with them, it will not and does not stop the new PPU's initial aggressive attitude to you. Use the fact that it will only decrease when their confidence and knowledge of you grows as a objective towards your target of rehabilitation. From personal experience I know forces are critical of each other and don't believe others are as "dutiful" as them. That is their issue but we suffer from the fall out.
 
Recognize this will happen each time you change your PPU officer as they want to understand what "pressure" does to you. Plus you are increasing their workload so what would you expect.

Believe in your plan for your life. Understand what is best for you and how to manage any restrictions so they in fact enhance your life with other possibilities and adventures.

I read an article about "freedom" and the perception of individuals of their own. It reminded me that in reality what individuals consider as freedom is not a reality as no has it, BUT in fact it is only a perception by that individual. 

I caused confusion to various prison officers when I spoke of my "freedom" whilst incarcerated. They could not understand as all they see is barriers (fences) stopping my physical movement, where I saw them similar to the waters surrounding a small island which had no boats. You just have to accept your situation and accept and enjoy the benefits of what your life can and does offer you.

Finally when all the accusations, the vindictive voices etc surround you, can I ask you to think of a simply phrase to hopefully support you.
There is no truth as it is just a perception of an individual



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Teaspoon - 8 Jul 20 12:33 AM
Hi, I've been lurking for a while and have found this forum to be very useful for information. Sorry I haven't participated sooner - I will certainly endeavour to do so from now on. I have a question for anyone that is an RSO regarding informing the police when you move address. 

I'm ashamed to say that I was convicted of an internet-related sexual offence in 2016 (although the offence was in 2013). I spent 2017 in custody and was released in 2018. I completed my license period at the beginning of this year and wish to move forward with my life. After my sentence, I moved back to live with my parents, who have been wonderful throughout this experience. However, I wish to move back to the city where I spent the last 20 years of my life (pre-conviction) as that's where I still have a lot of good friends who have been very supportive, despite my behaviour in 2013. Simply put, I wouldn't have made it through this without them! 

I contacted my previous landlord to see if he had any flats available, and it turns out he does have a couple, in the area that I lived for 10 years. He is unaware of my conviction; only that I left his property due to a personal crisis. Although I'm not on license, I thought it best to inform PPU of the plan and ask if the address was ok. I have always been compliant with PPU since my release and I received a glowing final report from my probation officer upon completion of my license. My risk was reduced accordingly and I continue to do everything I can to reduce it further. Anyway, PPU forwarded the details to the Police force in the area that I wish to move to. After waiting 2 weeks, I finally got a response that they had said no. The reason being that the address was in close proximity (about 1/2km) to a school. Just to be clear, my prior offence had nothing to do with schools. I asked about another address and the response was the same. The problem is, most places will be in the general vicinity of a school - it's quite difficult to find places that aren't. It would also be more straightforward to stick with properties that my previous landlord owns as I had a good relationship with him and I wouldn't require the usual references and credit checks. His are also the only flats that I've come across that would just about be covered by Housing Benefit. However, all of the properties are around the same area. 

This is obviously extremely frustrating. My PPU officer keeps telling me how important it is to find my own place and get some Independence back, as this statistically reduces risk. However, I am being blocked in doing so because of an imaginary risk. I say imaginary because it is not based on my previous offence. I realised that there is no legal requirement to inform the police that I intend to move - I am doing so purely as a courtesy. Nor do I have any restrictions regarding the location of my accommodation on the SHPO. According to the notification requirements, I am only required to inform police within 3 days of moving address. Also, 2 PPU officers have said that really, they can't stop me living anywhere, but it's best not to ruffle any feathers. My question is, what would happen if I just move to an address without telling them first? Especially as they've already disapproved. As far as I can see it, if there are no legal restrictions, then the negative response from the police is only advisory (?) I really don’t want to upset the police as I’m quite happy with the positive relationship I currently have with them (relative to the circumstances), but it seems I may have no choice. Does anyone on the forum have experience in this matter? I can find not a single piece of useful information online about this particular situation. I'm actually regretting asking them in the first place. If I had just moved, I could have claimed ignorance, but wouldn't have been breaking any rules. 

If anyone has any advice, I would really appreciate it. I apologise for the lengthy rambling - it's a habit of mine. 

Thanks for reading this, 

Teaspoon




Hi,

I was guilty of a downloading offence (17x) PPUs differ region to region. The one i'm in at the minute has been no problem, this is a polar opposite to my initial PPU who pretty much lied their way through in glaringly obvious ways.

If you're not happy with your offender manager request a new one, if you're not happy with your PPU then move. 

I'm sorry to be so blunt but there is no other way to say it.
GO


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