The changes, which the government announced earlier this year (5 March) following a 12 week consultation, will make it mandatory for sex offenders to notify the police:
- of all foreign travel, including travel outside the UK for one day
- weekly where they can be found when they have no fixed abode
- where they reside or stay for at least 12 hours with a child under the age of 18
- of certain information in relation to their passports or other identity documents, bank accounts and credit and debit cards
The Home Office has published new guidance for the police and probation service on the changes, which are set out within Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
Tough new powers are vital
James Brokenshire, Minister for Crime and Security, said: ‘Since the introduction of the Sex Offenders Act 1997, notification requirements have proved to be a significant tool in managing the risks posed by convicted sex offenders.
‘These tough new powers are vital. They will extend and strengthen the current checks and further enhance our ability to manage potentially dangerous individuals living in local communities and keep us all safe.
‘But it is also important that the police and probation services can use them practically. That is why we are publishing this guidance to provide the clarity needed to help all agencies understand the legislation and ensure it is used as effectively as possible to protect the public.’
The new measures received widespread support from voluntary sector organisations, the judiciary, the Association of Chief Police Officers as well as a number of public protection units within police forces.