Advice for People on the Sex Offender Register | Nacro
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Advice for people on the Sex Offender Register

FAQs about the Sex Offender Register

In general, the decision to disclose will be made on a case-by-case basis, either by the police (from the Public Protection Unit) or by your probation officer if you are on licence. Read more here.

You will be required to report to the police, in person at a designated police station, within three days of conviction or release from custody, imprisonment or service detention, discharge from hospital or return to the UK (whichever applies).

You will need to provide the following information:

  • Name and any aliases you have been known by
  • Date and place of birth
  • National insurance number
  • Home address at the time of conviction
  • Current address
  • Any other addresses or premises where you stay regularly (i.e. at least seven nights of the year or where you stay for two or more periods which adds up to seven days)
  • If you are living with a child or staying in a household where a child lives for at least 12 hours in each day
  • Date of conviction, court and offence
  • Passport details
  • Details of bank or savings accounts to which you have access
  • If you are residing with a child under the age of 18
  • Bank account and credit card details
  • Certain information about your bank account and credit card details

If any of these details change, you must notify the police within three days. If none of your details change, you will still need to report to the police every 12 months. The police may require you to allow them to take your fingerprints and photograph when you report to them.


If you have no fixed abode, you must notify the police weekly of where you can be found.

You will be committing a criminal offence if you fail, without reasonable excuse, to:

  • Make an initial notification
  • Notify a change in details
  • Make an annual re-notification
  • Comply with any requirements concerned with the notification of travelling abroad
  • Knowingly provide false information in relation to the first four points above
  • Inform the police afterwards where plans are changed following notification
  • Allow the police to take photographs or fingerprints
  • As a parent or guardian under a parental direction, ensure that a young offender, subject to notification requirements, complies with those requirements

You may be arrested if you breach these requirements. Upon summary conviction (in a Magistrates’ Court), you may be liable to a term of imprisonment of up to six months, or to a fine, or both. If you are taken to the crown court, you will be liable to a term of imprisonment of up to five years.


Police from the Public Protection Unit (PPU) may visit you at home periodically to check that you are living there and to undertake an informal assessment. The frequency of their visits will depend on your risk level. They can come to your home at any time, so if you are out you may not see them. However, if they have a warrant, they have a right of entry and the right to search your property.

If you have a partner living with you, the police may decide to tell them about your convictions. If you are on licence or subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, you may have a condition which says you must inform the police or your probation officer of any new sexual relationships that you enter into.

The length of time that you are on the Sex Offenders Register, and subject to notification requirements, will depend on the sentence or order you received upon conviction: (design up the below)

Your sentence Registration period (18 or over upon conviction) Registration period (Under 18)
Imprisonment for 30 months or more Indefinitely+ Indefinitely+
A hospital order subject to a restriction order (section 37/41) Indefinitely+ Indefinitely+
More than 6 months but less than 30 months 10 years 5 years
6 months or less 7 years 3 ½ years
A hospital order without a restriction order (section 37) 7 years 3 ½ years
A conditional discharge The duration of the conditional discharge The duration of the conditional discharge
A caution 2 years 1 year
Any other disposal (e.g. fine or community order) 5 years 2 ½ years

If you are subject to an extended sentence, the original sentence plus the extended sentence is the length of sentence which determines your registration period.

If you are on the register indefinitely, you can apply to the police to have this reviewed after 15 years if you were an adult upon conviction, or eight years if you were a juvenile upon conviction. However, if you are subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, you will not be eligible to apply for review.

When making a decision about whether you should remain on the register, the police will consider:

  • The nature and seriousness of your offence
  • The length of time that has elapsed since your offence
  • Your age at the time of the offence and the age of your victim(s)
  • Whether you have complied with your notification requirements
  • Any other sexual offences you may have committed
  • Any other evidence of risk of sexual harm
  • Any assessment of risk made by any Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) agency

If the police refuse your request for removal, you can appeal to the Magistrates’ Court but you will not be entitled to legal aid for this. If your appeal fails, you will not be eligible to apply for a further review for another eight years.

Being on the SOR does not prevent you from travelling abroad, unless you are also subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order that includes a foreign travel restriction. However, while you are on the SOR you must notify the police of any intention to travel abroad. The police will make a decision about whether they feel it is necessary to inform the country to which you intend to travel about any risks you may pose.

For further information about travelling abroad while on the SOR, please see here. If you are currently on licence for a sexual offence and wish to travel abroad, please see here.


Criminal recrod support service staff member on Nacro helpline

You can contact us on 0300 123 1999,

Monday – Thursday: 9am – 5pm
Friday: 1pm – 5pm

Our advisors can help you with any questions you may have.