Feeds

Sex offenders' register to include senders of indecent email

You've got a SOPO

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

The sending of emails of a sexual nature could earn the sender a place on the sex offenders' register under changes to existing legislation that came into force today.

An order has amended the Sexual Offences Act of 2003 to make it possible for offences which are not primarily sexual in nature to be punishable by a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO).

Improper use of a public communications network is forbidden already by the Communications Act 2003. It defines improper use as sending a message that is "grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character".

The amendment to the Sexual Offences Act adds that offence to the list of others that qualify for a SOPO. The order does not extend to Scotland.

The Home Office says the new provisions cover such activities as nuisance phone calls, obscene messages, and harrassment emails of a sexual nature.

The changes amend the two sections of the Act which list offences, widening their scope and increasing their number. It brings electronic communication firmly into the sights of the Act.

Anyone issued with a SOPO is subject to its conditions. A SOPO bans a person from certain behaviour for a fixed period which must be five years or more. People issued with a SOPO are added to the sex offenders' register.

The register is designed to monitor and control the behaviour of, and therefore the risk posed by, sex offenders. The amendments now made are designed to include acts which are not in themselves sexual in nature but which relate to sex offences.

A person who has committed one of the offences listed may or may not be handed a SOPO and added to the sex offenders' register. That is at the discretion of a judge or of the police, the Home Office said. Police and courts are told to issue a SOPO if they think that a person will re-offend if not issued with one.

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Related link

Lords rule on 'grossly offensive' phone calls

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.