16 The Sexual Offences Act 2003 (Remedial) (Scotland) Order 2011
1 This legislation provides for a review process for those offenders subject to the Sex Offender Notification Requirements (SONR) indefinitely. In essence, there are three key dates to be aware of in respect of managing these sex offenders.
- Date of conviction - An offender convicted when they were under 18 years of age will be subject to a review 8 years after his/her initial notification date. A person 18 years of age or older will be eligible for a review 15 years after their initial notification date.
- Date of notification - The date when a sex offender first notifies the police under the SONR is the date used to set the date of review, i.e. 8 or 15 years hence. In cases where the sex offender was released into the community prior to 1 September 1997, but was still subject to statutory supervision on that date, the qualifying date will be the date of release from custody.
- Review date - the date when the review will be due.
2 The legislation requires the Chief Constable to make a decision as to whether a person subject to the SONR indefinitely should be required to continue to notify, or alternatively, for the notification requirement to cease.
3 Should the Chief Constable be satisfied on the balance of probabilities, that a sex offender poses a risk of sexual harm to the public, or any specific members of the public, then the Chief Constable will issue a notification continuation order, which has the effect of continuing the requirements to notify for a period of up to 15 years. The offender has the right to appeal the Chief Constable's decision to the Sheriff Court and thereafter to the Sheriff Principal.
4 Prior to making the decision, it is best practice for the Chief Constable to engage the other responsible authorities to ascertain any information which will inform the decision whether to impose a notification continuation order or not. This is reflected within Section 88C (4) (k) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (Remedial) (Scotland) Order 2011.
5 To facilitate this sharing of information it is accepted that should the initial information trawl reveal matters of concern a MAPPA meeting should be held where all relevant information can be shared.
Email: Gus MacDonald