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Managing Individuals who Pose a Risk of Harm to Children

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Caption: contents list
Protection and Action to be Taken
Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)
Further Information


The terms 'Schedule One offender' and 'Schedule One offence' were commonly used for anyone convicted of an offence against a child listed in Schedule One of the Children and Young Person's Act 1933.

However, a conviction for an offence in Schedule One does not trigger any statutory requirement in relation to child protection issues and inclusion on the Schedule was determined solely by the age of the victim and offence for which the offender was sentenced and not by an assessment of future risk of harm to children.

Therefore the term 'Schedule One offender' is no longer used; it has been replaced with Person Posing a Risk to Children. This clearly indicates that the person has been identified as presenting a current risk or potential risk of harm to children.


This guidance should be referred to for any individual identified as presenting a risk of serious harm to a child. Such harm may include violent and sexual behaviour, emotional harm and neglect.

Guidance in the form of Home Office Circular [1] has been issued explaining how to identify those people who present a potential risk or risk of harm to children. The Circular explains that the present method of automatically identifying an offender, who has been convicted of an offence listed in Schedule One of the Children and Young Person's Act 1933, as a risk to children, fails to focus on those who continue to present a risk. For a copy of the circular please click here.

Practitioners working in this area should use the list of offences included with the above circular as a 'trigger' to a further assessment, including consideration of previous offences and behaviours, to determine if an offender should be regarded as presenting a continued risk of harm to children [2]. This allows agencies to focus resources on the correct group of individuals and not include those who have been identified solely because a child was harmed during the offence, for example as in the case of a road traffic accident. An offender who has harmed a child might not continue to present a risk towards that child or other children.

[1] Guidance on offences against children, Home Office Circular 16/2005
[2] List of Offences attached to above Circular.

Protection and Action to be Taken

The Probation Service will Inform the Children's Social Care Early Help and Safeguarding Hub (EHaSH) of all offenders who are assessed as presenting a risk of harm to children. This information will be recorded on LiquidLogic. This may be in the form of a Referral where there are identified children who are at risk or through a Risk to Children Notification where there are no specific identified children at risk.

Practitioners should also consider that where a young offender (aged under 18 years) offends against a child, a thorough and specialist assessment should be undertaken to establish the extent to which the young person who has offended continues to pose a risk of harm to other children. In Hull this is the AIMS assessment.

They should be alert to the possibility that there may be little or no continuing risk of harm to other children, and the stigma of being identified as presenting a continued risk of harm to children is potentially damaging to the development of the young offender. However, it is important never to lose sight of taking all possible action to ensure that children are adequately protected from any future harm. Practitioners should also assess and put in place services to respond to the, often complex, needs of the young person who has offended.

Once an individual has been sentenced and identified as presenting a risk to children, agencies have a responsibility to work collaboratively to monitor and manage the risk of harm to others. Where the offender is given a community sentence, Youth Justice Officers will monitor the individual's risk of harm to others and behaviour and liaise with partner agencies as appropriate.

In cases where an offender of any age has been sentenced to a period of custody, Prison establishments have a responsibility to notify other agencies prior to any period of release.

In Hull notifications from prisons are received and managed by the Independent Review Team (of all prisoners with relevant offences who are admitted into Prisons, transferred or discharged into the Hull area or who have a link with a Hull child/family). Upon receipt of these notifications, the IRO Team notify the relevant Children's Social Care Team to assess risk to any child(ren) connected to that individual.

Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)

Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements provide a national framework in England and Wales for the assessment and management of risk posed by specified sexual and violent offenders, including offenders (and young offenders) who are considered to pose a risk or potential risk of serious harm to children. The arrangements are statutory. Sections 325-327 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 require the Police, Probation Service and Prison Services (the "Responsible Authorities") to establish and monitor these arrangements. A number of other agencies – including Children's and Adults Social Care Services, Health, Housing, Education, Youth Justice Services, are under a duty to co-operate with the Responsible Authority in this work [3].

The MAPPA Guidance (2012, updated 2019) further develops processes particularly with regard to young people who pose a risk and the role of the Youth Justice Service

The duties and obligations of the Responsible Authority are discharged through the Strategic Management Board (SMB). To provide consistency and a central awareness, a Humberside Area Strategic Management Board is in place and comprises of lead officers from Police, Probation Service and Prison, representatives from a number of agencies with a "duty to Co-operate" and Lay Advisors.

MAPPA’s focus is on specified sexual and violent offenders in, and returning to the community, and its aims are to:

  • Ensure more comprehensive risk assessments are completed, taking advantage of co-ordinated information sharing across agencies;
  • Share information, assess and manage risk and direct the available resources to best protect the public from serious harm.

Offenders eligible for MAPPA are identified and information is gathered/shared about them across relevant agencies. The extent to which they pose a risk of serious harm is assessed and risk management plan is implemented to protect the public.

Each area MAPPA Strategic Management Board is attended by a senior representative of each of the responsible authority and duty to co-operate agencies, plus two lay advisors. It is the role of the SMB to ensure that the MAPPA are working effectively and to establish the main working relationships with the Hull Safeguarding Children's Partnership.

While MAPPA will not address the concerns of further serious harm posed by all perpetrators of child abuse, its purpose is to focus on convicted sexual and violent offenders returning to and in the community.

ViSOR is a national database which currently carries details of MAPPA eligible offenders and other potentially dangerous individuals. The police have been using ViSOR since 2005 and probation and prisons have had access since 2008-2009. The benefit is that, for the first time, all three responsible authority agencies can access the same IT system, thus improving the quality and timelines of risk assessments and of interventions to prevent offending.

Practitioners, through rigorous risk assessment on an individual case basis, should, where appropriate, refer offenders to the MAPPA process. Our Area has a Co-ordinator which is a joint Police and Probation secondment. The Area MAPPA Co-ordinator, supported by local co-ordinators in Probation field offices works closely with the Police Risk Management Officers attached to the Police Protection Units and can be contacted directly or via any of the local co-ordinators [5] or Police Risk Management Officers. Referrals to MAPPA or any queries in regard to the appropriateness of referrals should be made to any of the above contacts.

See the National MAPPA Guidance and Area Annual MAPPA Reports, which include examples of Case Studies.

[3] ss 325-326, Criminal Justice Act (2003) which came into effect on 5th April 2004.
[5] Area MAPPA Co-ordinator contact sheet

Identification of MAPPA Offenders

Not all offenders are covered by the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements so effective multi-agency public protection needs to start with the efficient identification of those relevant offenders. Prompt and accurate identification then allows all agencies to gather and share relevant information and choose the appropriate risk management strategies.

MAPPA applies to certain categories of individuals who are currently being dealt with for a sexual or violent offence. In the main these offenders are registered sex offenders, i.e. those convicted or cautioned for certain sexual offences who are required to register with the Police, or violent and other sex offenders who generally have received a sentence of imprisonment of 12 months or more and will be supervised in the community by the Probation Service or Youth Justice Service.

There are three categories of offenders eligible for MAPPA:

Category 1:

Registered sexual offenders – Sexual offenders who are required to notify police of their name, address and other personal details and notify changes subsequently;

Category 2:

Violent Offenders and some sex offenders who are not required to register:

  • An offender convicted (or found not guilty by reason of insanity or to be unfit to stand trial and to have done the act charged) of murder or an offence specified under Schedule 15 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (CJA 2003) who received a sentence of 12 months or more or a hospital order;
  • An offender barred from working with children under the DBS Vetting and Barring Scheme (or subject to a Disqualification Order for an offence listed under Schedule 4 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000, which preceded this Scheme).

Category 3:

Other dangerous offenders – Other dangerous offenders: a person who has been cautioned, reprimanded, warned or convicted of an offence which indicates that they are capable of causing serious harm and requires multi-agency management at level 2 or 3. The offence might not be one specified in Sch.15 of the CJA 2003.

MAPPA additionally applies to those individuals whose previous convictions and behaviour indicate they are capable of causing serious harm and there is a current concern about the risk they present which requires multi agency management.

First it must be established that the individual has a conviction for an offence which indicates they are capable of causing serious harm to the public. Secondly it must be reasonably considered that they may pose a current risk of serious harm to others.

MAPPA and the Youth Justice Service

Youth Justice Boards have a duty to identify cases that meet MAPPA criteria and make appropriate referrals. However, guidance emphasises that young people should be assessed and managed differently from adults, using age appropriate assessment tools and always bearing in mind the need to safeguard the welfare of the young offender as well as to protect others from harm. Children's Social Care should always be represented at MAPPA meetings when a young person is discussed.

The Hull Youth Justice Service operates the following processes to ensure that risk is managed effectively:

  • Initial Planning Meetings to ensure early contact post Court and identify and share specific risks. Young people and their parents/carers are invited to attend;
  • Monitoring of cases by the performance officer and relayed to managers on a monthly basis to ensure all relevant assessments in place;
  • Supervision (one to one) of staff to review all new cases within 4 weeks of allocation;
  • Internal Risk Assessment and Management Meetings (IRAMM) to review high risk and very high risk cases and offer support between risk/team manager and individual responsible officers (monthly) or where relevant emergency IRAMM;
  • Risk Management Register traffic light system to ensure monitoring of medium and high risk cases: GREEN – case has acceptable management plan supported by core group – level of risk being managed, AMBER – case has risk management plan in place with high level of risk and may or may not need multi-agency intervention, RED – case has limited risk management plan in place and is very high risk requiring multi-agency co-ordination and intervention;
  • Youth Offender Risk Management Strategy Group which meets monthly and includes an Independent Chair and attendance from the following agencies:
    • Connexions;
    • Youth Justice Service;
    • Probation/MAPP;
    • ASB Team representative;
    • YPSS;
    • Children's Services;
    • Police;
    • Housing;
    • Youth Service;
    • CAMHS;
    • IRO;
    • Education.

The above strategy group is a multi-agency focused group with the purpose of overseeing and advising on the partnership case management of young people identified as:

  • High risk of offending – AssetPlus score 33+;
  • Deter Young Offenders Scheme List;
  • Medium and above Risk of Serious Harm;
  • MAPPA Referrals;
  • Risk to Children.

Referring Sources

Prolific Offenders
  • Police intelligence;
  • YJS – AssetPlus 33+ score (indicates High Risk of re-offending).
Anti-Social Behaviour
  • ASB team.
Public Protection
  • YJS – AssetPlus/RoSH Medium and High Risk of Serious Harm rating.

MAPPA and the Sharing of Relevant Information

Exchange of information is essential for effective public protection. The MAPPA Guidance clarifies how MAPPA agencies may/should exchange information amongst themselves to better manage offenders. It also explains why and how information may be disclosed to those not involved in the MAPPA management of the offender. The expectation is that information on offenders will be disclosed to others – for example, partners, employers, schools – where this is required to manage the risks posed by the offender.

Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) can recommend that agencies disclose information about offenders to a number of organisations including schools and voluntary groups.

Assessment of the Risk of Serious Harm (RoSH)

HM Prison and Probation Service assesses risk of harm using the Offender Assessment System (OASys), supplemented by additional assessment procedures, depending on the nature of offending and specific risks identified. The Youth Justice Board use AssetPlus for under 18 year olds. The following describe each level of risk.

  • Low: Current evidence does not indicate likelihood of causing serious harm;
  • Medium: Identifiable indicators of risk of serious harm. The offender has the potential to cause serious harm, but is unlikely to do so unless there is a change of circumstances (e.g. failure to take medication, loss of accommodation, relationship breakdown, drug or alcohol misuse);
  • High: Identifiable indicators of risk of serious harm. The potential event could happen at any time and the impact would be serious;
  • Very high: An imminent risk of harm. The potential event is more likely than not to happen imminently and the impact would be serious.

Risk is categorised by reference to who may be the subject of that harm. This includes children who may be vulnerable to harm of various kinds, including violent or sexual behaviour, emotional harm or neglect. In this context, MAPPA will work closely with Hull Safeguarding Children's Partnership to ensure the best, local joint arrangements can be made for any individual child being considered by either setting.

Managing Risk of Serious Harm (RoSH)

In most cases MAPPA eligible offenders will be managed without recourse to MAPPA meetings under the ordinary arrangements applied by the agency or agencies with supervisory responsibility. This will generally be the police for registered sexual offenders who are not on licence to probation, and probation for violent offenders and Mental health services with those on hospital orders. A number of offenders will be formulated and monitored via multi-agency public protection plan (MAPP) meetings attended by various agencies.

Through MAPPA the Responsible Authority seeks to ensure that strategies to address risk are identified and plans developed, implemented and reviewed on a regular basis. Those plans include action to monitor the behaviour and attitudes of the offender and to intervene in their life in order to control and minimise the risk of serious harm to others.

Under the MAPPA framework there are three separate, but, connected levels, at which risk is managed. Although generally the higher the assessed level of risk the higher the level of management required this need not always be the case.

The risk management structure is based on the principle that cases should be managed at the lowest level consistent with providing a defensible risk management plan.

The three levels are:

Level 1: Ordinary Management

Ordinary agency management Level 1 is where the risks posed by the offender can be managed by the agency responsible for the supervision or case management of the offender. This does not mean that other agencies will not be involved, only that it is not considered necessary to refer the case to a level 2 or 3 MAPP meeting.

It is essential that information-sharing takes place, disclosure is considered, and there are discussions between agencies as necessary.

Level 2: Active Multi-Agency Risk Management

Level 2: Active Multi-Agency Risk Management

Cases should be managed at Level 2 where the offender:

  • Is assessed as posing a high or very high risk of serious harm; or
  • The risk level is lower but the case requires the active involvement and co-ordination of interventions from other agencies to manage the presenting risks of serious harm; or
  • The case has been previously managed at level 3 but no longer meets the criteria for level 3; or
  • Multi-agency management adds value to the lead agency's management of the risk of serious harm posed.

Level 3: Active Enhanced Multi Agency Management

Level 3 management should be used for cases that meet the criteria for level 2 but where it is determined that the management issues require senior representation from the Responsible Authority and Duty-to-Co-operate agencies. This may be when there is a perceived need to commit significant resources at short notice or where, although not assessed as high or very high risk of serious harm, there is a high likelihood of media scrutiny or public interest in the management of the case and there is a need to ensure that public confidence in the criminal justice system is maintained.

The national MAPPA guidance sets out the framework in full.

Potentially Dangerous Persons (PDP)

A PDP is a person who is not currently managed under one of the three MAPPA categories, but whose behaviour gives reasonable grounds for believing that there is a present likelihood of them committing an offence or offences that will cause serious harm.

Examples of PDPs include:

  • A person charged with domestic abuse offences on a number of occasions against different partners but never convicted of offences that would make them a MAPPA-eligible offender;
  • An individual who is continually investigated for allegations of child sexual abuse but is never charged or never receives a civil order, but whom agencies still believe poses a serious risk of sexual harm to children;
  • A terrorist suspected but not convicted of an offence;
  • Where a community psychiatric nurse (CPN) shares information with the police that a patient with mental ill health has disclosed fantasies about committing serious violent offences. The patient is not cooperating with the current treatment plan, and the CPN believes serious violent behaviour is imminent;
  • A person who has committed offences abroad that had they been committed here would result in the offender being managed under MAPPA.

These types of individuals could still benefit from active risk management but would not be managed under MAPPA. This management would usually involve two or more agencies, although there may be cases where only the police are involved. There must be a present likelihood of the subject causing serious harm in order for their case to be managed.

See Introduction to Managing Sexual Offenders and Violent Offenders (College of Policing)

Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC)

A MARAC is a multi agency meeting which has the safety of high risk domestic abuse victims and their children as its focus. The identification of high risk cases has been made possible by the use of risk assessment tools. Within the Humberside area all agencies will be using the SafeLives Dash risk checklist, Quick start guidance.

(For further details about the MARAC process see Domestic Abuse Safeguarding Practice Guidance, Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) in Hull and Hull MARAC Operating Procedures).

Offending Behaviour Programmes

Rehabilitation of offenders is the best guarantee of long-term public protection. A range of treatment programmes have been ‘tried and tested’ at a national level, which have been developed or commissioned by the prison and the Probation Service. Examples include, Sex Offender Treatment Programme/Northumbria Sex Offender Group work (SOTP/NSOG) for sexual offenders, and the Building Better Relationships (BBR) programmes for males convicted of domestic abuse offences.

Disqualification from Working with Children

For up to date information see Disclosure and Barring Service website (GOV.UK).

The Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 (CJCSA), as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 2003, provides for people to be disqualified from working with children. A person is disqualified by:

  • A Disqualification Order, made by the Crown Court when a person is convicted for an offence against a child (under 18) listed in Schedule 4 to the CJCSA. Schedule 4 includes sexual offences, violent offences and offences of selling Class A drugs to a child.

When making a Disqualification Order the court applies different provisions depending on the age of the offender and the sentence received:

  • Adult offender who receives a qualifying sentence (12 months or more or equivalent) or relevant order for a specified offence: a Disqualification Order must be made unless the court is satisfied that it is unlikely that the individual will commit any further offence against a child;
  • Juvenile offender who receives a qualifying sentence or relevant order: a Disqualification Order must be made if the court is satisfied that it is likely that the individual will commit a further offence against a child;
  • Adult or Juvenile offender who does not receive a qualifying sentence or relevant order: a Disqualification Order may be made if the court is satisfied that the offender is likely to commit a further offence against a child.

A Disqualification Order is of indefinite duration (i.e. for life) but application can be made for an order to be reviewed by the Care Standards Tribunal after 10 years (or 5 years in the case of a juvenile).

Disqualification Orders are made as part of the sentence and, therefore, cannot be made on application. However, the Criminal Justice Act 2003 allows the Crown Prosecution Service to refer cases back to the courts where it appears that the court should have considered making a Disqualification Order but failed to do so. Therefore, if an offender is identified who it seems should have been made subject to a Disqualification Order the case should be discussed with other MAPPA agencies and the Crown Prosecutions Service.

People who are disqualified from working with children are prohibited from applying for, offering to do, accepting, or doing, any work in a “regulated position”. They include working with children in paid or unpaid positions whose normal duties involve caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of children, and positions whose normal duties involve unsupervised contact with children under arrangements made by a responsible person, for example, a parent, and include a broad range of work with children from babysitting to working as a school teacher and from working in Local Authority Education or Children's Social Care to voluntary work at a football club.

School governor is a regulated position, as are other positions whose normal duties include the supervision or management of another individual who works in a regulated position.

A person who is disqualified commits an offence if  they  knowingly apply for, offer to do, accept, or do, any work with children. It is also an offence for an individual knowingly to offer work with children to, or procure work with children for, an individual who is disqualified from working with children, or to allow such an individual to continue in such work. The Police should be contacted if such an offence is committed. The maximum penalty for breach is 5 years imprisonment.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

Enhanced DBS disclosure can be requested by all those who employ or use volunteers in ‘Regulated Activity’.

The Disclosure and Barring Service aims to help employers make safer recruitment decisions by identifying candidates who may be unsuitable for certain types of work. In some cases, employers must ask successful candidates to apply to the DBS for a Standard or Enhanced Disclosure, depending on the duties of the particular position or job involved. In other cases, employers are eligible to ask for disclosures. Relevant sectoral guidance sets out the requirements and eligibility in detail.

In addition to information about a person’s criminal record, enhanced disclosures supplied in connection with work with children contain details of whether a person is registered with the DBS. Enhanced disclosures may contain details of acquittals or other non conviction information held on police records, relevant to the position or post for which the person has been selected, and the police may also provide additional information to employers in a separate letter. Further information including details of how to apply for disclosures, is available on the Disclosure and Barring Service website.

The Sex Offender Register

The notification requirements of Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (known as the Sex Offenders Register) are an automatic requirement on offenders, including young people who have offended, who receive a conviction or caution for certain sexual offences. The notification requirements are intended to ensure that the Police are informed of the whereabouts of offenders in the community. The notification requirements do not bar offenders from certain types of employment, or being alone with children.

Offenders must notify the Police of certain personal details within 3 days of their conviction or caution for a relevant sexual offence (or, if they are in prison on this date, within 3 days of their release).

Such an offender must then notify the Police, within 3 days, of any change to the notified details and whenever they spend 7 days or more at another address.

All offenders must reconfirm their details at least once every twelve months and notify the Police, 7 days in advance of any travel overseas for a period of 3 days or more.

Guidance  in relation to Sex Offender Registrations is available on the Home Office Website, under these offenders must:

  • Notify the police of ALL foreign travel (not just that that is for greater than 3 days);
  • Notify the police of their whereabouts weekly when they do not regularly reside or stay at one place (previously this was a monthly requirement);
  • Notify the police where they reside or stay with a child (under the age of 18) for at least 12 hours in a premises to which the public do not have access (whether by payment or not);
  • Notify the police of all passport, credit or bank card, and bank account details at each notification.

The period of time that an offender must comply with these requirements depends on whether they received a conviction or caution for their offence and, where appropriate, the sentence they received.

Failure to comply with these requirements is a criminal offence with a maximum penalty of 5 years’ imprisonment. The Police should be contacted if such an offence is committed.

The Child Sex Offender (CSO) Disclosure Scheme

The Disclosure Scheme is focused on disclosure and risk management where the subject is identified as being convicted (including cautions, reprimands and final warnings) of child sexual offences (CSO). For the purposes of this scheme a child sexual offence will be defined as any offence listed under Schedule 34A of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

The principal aim of this scheme is to provide parents, guardians and carers with information that will enable them to better safeguard their Children's safety and welfare. It is not an aim of this scheme to introduce a US-style Megan’s Law or automatic disclosure of child sexual offender details to the general public, which could encourage offenders to go missing and therefore put children at greater risk of harm.

The disclosure process will include routes for managed access to information regarding individuals who are not convicted child sexual offenders but who pose a risk of harm to children. This may include:

  • Persons who are convicted of other offences for example, serious domestic abuse; and
  • Persons who are not convicted but about whom the police, or any other agency, hold intelligence indicating that they pose a risk of harm to children.

There would not however be a presumption to disclose such information.

It is important that the disclosure of information about previous convictions, for offences which are not child sex offences, is able to continue as it is not the intention of the disclosure process to make access to information concerning safeguarding children more restricted.

It should be stressed that the disclosure process will build on existing procedures such as MAPPA and will provide a clear access route for the public to raise child protection concerns and be confident that action will follow.

It is of paramount importance to all involved in delivering this process that we ensure that children are being protected from harm. By making a request for disclosure, a parent, guardian or carer will often also be registering their concerns about possible risks to the safety of their child or children. For that reason, the Humberside Police, Youth Justice, Children's Social Care and Hull Safeguarding Children's Partnership work closely together to ensure that any possible risks of harm to the child or children are fully assessed and managed.

Further details about the scheme and the guidance on disclosure can be accessed through the Home Office website.

See also Humberside Police Child Sex Offender Disclosure (Sarah’s Law)

Notification Order

Notification Orders are intended to ensure that British citizens or residents, as well as foreign nationals, can be made subject to the notification requirements (the Sex Offenders Register) in the UK if they receive convictions or cautions for sexual offences overseas. The provisions also apply to young people who have offended.

Notification Orders are made on application from the Police to a Magistrates’ Court. Therefore, if an offender is identified who has received a conviction or caution for a sexual offence overseas the case should be referred to the local Police for action.

If a Notification Order is in force then the offender becomes subject to the requirements of Sex Offender Registration (see above).

For example: a Notification Order could ensure that the notification requirements will apply to a British man who, while on holiday in South East Asia, received a caution for a sexual offence on a child.

Any information that an individual has received a conviction or caution for a sexual offence overseas should, where appropriate, be shared with the Police.

Sexual Harm Prevention Orders

Sexual Harm Prevention Orders and Sexual Risk Orders were introduced by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. They replace the previous Sexual Offences Prevention Orders, Risk of Sexual Harm Orders and Foreign Travel Orders which were introduced by the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Sexual Harm Prevention Orders can be applied to anyone convicted or cautioned of a sexual or violent offence, including where offences are committed overseas.

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, or protecting children from sexual harm from the defendant outside the United Kingdom.

The Orders prohibit the defendant from doing anything described in the order, and can include a prohibition on foreign travel (replacing Foreign Travel Orders which were introduced by the Sexual Offences Act 2003).

A prohibition contained in a Sexual Harm Prevention Order has effect for a fixed period, specified in the order, of at least 5 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.

Violent Offender Order (VOO)

Violent Offender Orders (VOOs) are civil preventative orders that came into effect on 3rd August 2009 (contained in part 7 of the Criminal justice and Immigration act 2008). VOOs were developed as a tool to help the police service to manage those offenders who continue to pose a risk of serious violent harm to the public even after their release from prison or when their licence has ceased. Although not specifically designed as a tool to protect children, there may be circumstances where VOOs would be an appropriate mechanism to manage an individual who poses a serious risk of harm to children.

VOOs are available on application by a chief officer of police to a magistrates’ court and, if granted will contain such restrictions, prohibitions or conditions authorised by Section 102 of the Act as the court considers necessary to protect the public from risk of serious violent harm caused by the offender. This may include prohibiting their access to certain places, premises, events or people to whom they pose the highest risk.

Breach of any of the prohibitions, restrictions or conditions contained in a VOO without reasonable excuse is a criminal offence, with a maximum punishment of 5 years imprisonment.

Release of Prisoners Assessed as Presenting a Risk of Serious Harm to Children (including those due for Parole or Release on Temporary Licence).

When a prisoner convicted of offences against a child is being considered for Parole or is due to be released from custody (including Release on Temporary Licence (RoTL)) the prison-based Probation Officer must seek an assessment in writing from Children's Social Care and community-based Probation Officer with regard to the effects that their release may have upon any children having contact with the address at which the prisoner is expected to reside. This information must be shared in a timely manner prior to any release from custody in order to permit that all available information to be considered and assessed prior to any Parole or RoTL being granted. 

 An assessment by Probation Staff must include a home visit (which in some circumstances may be undertaken jointly with Police), and an interview with individuals residing at the proposed address in order to assess the home circumstances.

Children's Social Care must undertake an assessment of potential risk of harm in relation to any child who has been identified as having contact with the address, and any child who may have contact with the prisoner if released. Children's Social Care should provide a report identifying all potential risks to children, and any protective action that will be needed, if the prisoner is to be released to the address.

In the event a decision is made to release a prisoner to an address where a child is likely to have contact with the prisoner, a Referral to Children's Social Care must be made. A decision may then be made to hold a Strategy Discussion / Meeting and undertake a Section 47 Enquiry.

Clare’s Law

Clare’s Law – the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme – is designed to provide victims with information that may protect them from an abusive situation before it ends in tragedy. The scheme allows the police to disclose information about a partner’s previous history of domestic abuse or violent acts.

See also the Humberside Police website


The Children Act 1989 recognised that the identification and investigation of child abuse together with the protection and support of victims and their families requires multi-agency collaboration. This has rightly focused on the child and the supporting parent/carer. As part of that protection, action has been taken, usually by the Police and Children’s Social Care, to prosecute known offenders or control their access to vulnerable children.

This work, whilst successful in addressing the safety of particular victims has not always acknowledged the on-going risk of harm that an individual perpetrator may present to other children in the future. Nor does it acknowledge that a young person may also be a perpetrator and that the same young person may simultaneously be both suffering, or likely to suffer harm, and present a risk of harm to other children and young people.