Sex Offenders Act 1997

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1997 c. 51


Sex Offenders Act 1997

1997 Chapter 51

An Act to require the notification of information to the police by persons who have committed certain sexual offences to make provision with respect to the commission of certain sexual acts outside the United Kingdom and for connected purposes.

[21st March 1997]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

I Notification requirements for sex offenders

Part I

Notification requirements for sex offenders

S-1 Sex offenders subject to notification requirements.

1 Sex offenders subject to notification requirements.

(1) A person becomes subject to the notification requirements of this Part if, after the commencement of this Part—

(a) he is convicted of a sexual offence to which this Part applies

(b) he is found not guilty of such an offence by reason of insanity, or to be under a disability and to have done the act charged against him in respect of such an offence or

(c) in England and Wales or Northern Ireland, he is cautioned by a constable in respect of such an offence which, at the time when the caution is given, he has admitted.

(2) A person becomes subject to those requirements if, at that commencement—

(a) he has been convicted of a sexual offence to which this Part applies but has not been dealt with in respect of the offence or

(b) he has been found not guilty of such an offence by reason of insanity, or to be under a disability and to have done the act charged against him in respect of such an offence, but has not been dealt with in respect of the finding.

(3) A person becomes subject to those requirements if, at that commencement—

(a) he is serving a sentence of imprisonment or a term of service detention, or is subject to a community order, in respect of a sexual offence to which this Part applies

(b) he is subject to supervision, having been released from prison after serving the whole or part of a sentence of imprisonment in respect of such an offence

(c) he is detained in a hospital, or is subject to a guardianship order, having been convicted of such an offence or

(d) he is detained in a hospital, having been found not guilty of such an offence by reason of insanity, or to be under a disability and to have done the act charged against him in respect of such an offence;

and a person who would fall within paragraph (a), (c) or (d) above but for the fact that, at that commencement, he is unlawfully at large or absent without leave, on temporary release or leave of absence, or on bail pending an appeal, shall be treated as falling within that paragraph.

(4) A person falling within subsections (1) to (3) above shall continue to be subject to those requirements for the period set out opposite a person of his description in the second column of the following Table.

Description of person Applicable period

A person who, in respect of the offence, is or has been sentenced to imprisonment for life or for a term of 30 months or more

An indefinite period

A person who, in respect of the offence or finding, is or has been admitted to a hospital subject to a restriction order

An indefinite period

A person who, in respect of the offence, is or has been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of more than 6 months but less than 30 months

A period of 10 years beginning with the relevant date

A person who, in respect of the offence, is or has been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of 6 months or less

A period of 7 years beginning with that date

A person who, in respect of the offence or finding, is or has been admitted to a hospital without being subject to a restriction order

A period of 7 years beginning with that date

A person of any other description

A period of 5 years beginning with that date

(5) Subsection (6) below applies where a person falling within subsection (1) (a), (2)(a) or (3)(a), (b) or (c) above is or has been sentenced, in respect of two or more sexual offences to which this Part applies—

(a) to consecutive terms of imprisonment or

(b) to terms of imprisonment which are partly concurrent.

(6) Subsection (4) above shall have effect as if the person were or had been sentenced, in respect of each of the offences, to a term of imprisonment which—

(a) in the case of consecutive terms, is equal to the aggregate of those terms

(b) in the case of concurrent terms, is equal to the aggregate of those terms after making such deduction as may be necessary to secure that no period of time is counted more than once.

(7) Where a person found to be under a disability, and to have done the act charged against him in respect of a sexual offence to which this Part applies, is subsequently tried for the offence, the finding, and any order made in respect of the finding, shall be disregarded for the purposes of this section.

(8) In this Part ‘the relevant date’ means—

(a) in a case of a person falling within subsection (1)(a), (2)(a) or (3)(a) to (c) above, the date of the conviction

(b) in a case of a person falling within subsection (1)(b), (2)(b) or (3)(d) above, the date of the finding

(c) in a case of a person falling within subsection (1)(c) above, the date of the caution.

(9) Schedule 1 to this Act (which lists the sexual offences to which this Part applies) shall have effect.

S-2 Effect of notification requirements.

2 Effect of notification requirements.

(1) A person who is subject to the notification requirements of this Part shall, before the end of the period of 14 days beginning with the relevant date or, if later, the commencement of this Part, notify to the police the following information, namely—

(a) his name and, where he also uses one or more other names, each of those names and

(b) his home address.

(2) A person who is subject to those requirements shall also, before the end of the period of 14 days beginning with—

(a) his using a name which has not been notified to the police under this section

(b) any change of his home address or

(c) his having resided or stayed, for a qualifying period, at any premises in the United Kingdom the address of which has not been notified to the police under this section,

notify that name, the effect of that change or, as the case may be, the address of those premises to the police.

(3) A notification given to the police by any person shall not be regarded as complying with subsection (1) or (2) above unless it also states—

(a) his date of birth

(b) his name on the relevant date and, where he used one or more other names on that date, each of those names and

(c) his home address on that date.

(4) For the purpose of determining any period for the purposes of subsection (1) or (2) above, there shall be disregarded any time when the person in question—

(a) is remanded in or committed to custody by an order of a court

(b) is serving a sentence of imprisonment or a term of service detention

(c) is detained in a hospital or

(d) is outside the United Kingdom.

(5) A person may give a notification under this section—

(a) by attending at any police station in his local police area and giving an oral notification to any police officer, or to any person authorised for the purpose by the officer in charge of the station or

(b) by sending a written notification to any such police station.

(6) Any notification under this section shall be acknowledged and an acknowledgment under this subsection shall be in writing and in such form as the Secretary of State may direct.

(7) In this section—

‘home address’, in relation to any person, means the address of his home, that is to say, his sole or main residence in the United Kingdom or, where he has no such residence, premises in the United Kingdom which he regularly visits

‘local police area’, in relation to any person, means the police area in which his home is situated

‘qualifying period’ means—

(a) a period of 14 days or

(b) two or more periods, in any period of 12 months, which (taken together) amount to 14 days.

(8) The definition of ‘local police area’ in subsection (7) above shall apply as if Northern Ireland were a police area.

S-3 Offences.

3 Offences.

(1) If a person—

(a) fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with section 2(1) or (2) above or

(b) notifies to the police, in purported compliance with section 2(1) or (2) above, any information which he knows to be false,

he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both.

(2) A person commits an offence under subsection (1)(a) above on the day on which he first fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with section 2(1) or (2) above and continues to commit it...

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