In R (on the application of Richards) v Chief Constable of Cleveland Police (UKSC 2017/0090) the Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal against the imposition of a tagging requirement in a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (“SOPO”). The undisturbed judgment of the Court of Appeal in R (on the application of Richards) v Teesside Magistrates’ Court  EWCA Civ 7;  1 WLR 1695 endorses (and perhaps extends) the purpose and effect of imposing qualified restrictions on sex offenders.
In R (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis) v Central Criminal Court & (1) Guilfoyle & (2) Crown Prosecution Service. the High Court quashed an order purporting to lift a sex offender’s notification requirements as the Central Criminal Court had no power to make the order.
Sections 91A and 91B of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 form part of the new regime for the review of indefinite notification requirements for sex offenders. In outline:
- an offender who has been made the subject of an indefinite notification order can apply to the local Chief Constable for a review of the continuing need to be subject to notification requirements.
- The Chief Constable has to notify certain public bodies, such as the local probation service and the Home Secretary.
- If the Chief Constable refused to remove the notification requirements, there is a right of appeal to the Magistrates’ Court.
- Importantly, a person cannot apply until 15 years have elapsed if they were an adult at the time of the original notification requirement, or 8 years if a juvenile.
The new regime came into effect on 30th July 2012.