Sexual Risk Orders - are the police going to far?

It is reported that a man who was acquitted of rape has been ordered to give police 24 hours notice of any intended planned sexual activity including the name, address and date of birth of any partner as well as other conditions restricting his use of internet and mobile phones. The man, who cannot be named, claimed that the complainant had consented to sex and after being held on remand for 14 months was cleared by the Court.

Introduced by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 Sexual Risk Orders replace the previous Risk of Sexual Harm Orders which was introduced by the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Sexual Risk Orders can be made where a person has done an act of a sexual nature as a result of which there is reasonable cause to believe that it is necessary for such an order to be made, even if they have never been convicted.

The court needs to be satisfied that the order is necessary for protecting the public, or any particular members of the public, from sexual harm from the defendant. The Orders prohibit the defendant from doing anything described in the order or by imposing requirements to notify as in this case. A prohibition contained in a Sexual Risk Order has effect for a fixed period, specified in the order, of not less than 2 years, or until further order. The Order may specify different periods for different prohibitions.

Failure to comply with a requirement imposed under an Order is an offence punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.

We have often seen similar rigorous and disproportionate orders been imposed which we have successfully challenged.

If you need any advice concerning these or similar orders, please contact us.