Skip to main content


The Sex Offenders Register: How it works

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 imposes notification requirements on persons (or in the case of young people on their parents) convicted or cautioned for certain sexual offences. It also applies to those proven to have committed acts by virtue of their disability or found not guilty by reason of insanity. Such notification requirements are imposed by virtue of inclusion on the Sex Offenders Register. The length of time such persons remain on the register, and subject to requirements, depends on the sentence or order.

Length of Time

Indefinitely – those imprisoned for more than 30 months or made subject of a hospital order with restriction

10 years – those sentenced to between 6 and 30 months imprisonment

7 years – those imprisoned for less than 6 months or made subject of a hospital order without restriction

5 years – any other sentence

2 years – those caution for a relevant offence

The period of the conditional discharge – those subject to a conditional discharge

The Notification Requirements

  1. Within 3 days of the date of conviction, notify the police of:
  • Date of birth
  • National Insurance number
  • Name and any other names used
  • Address
  • Address of any other place he usually stays
  • Information about relevant households
  • Bank account, credit and debit card details
  • Details of passport
  1. Within 3 days of the change of any of the above details, notify the police of such changes.
  1. If he intends to leave the United Kingdom, he must notify the police not less than 7 days before he goes:
  • The date on which he intends to leave
  • The country which he is going to
  • His point of arrival (airport etc) in that country (and any additional country)
  • His carrier
  • Accommodation arrangements
  • The date on which he intends to return to the UK
  • His point of arrival back in the UK
  1. Once he arrives back in the UK, within 3 days of his return, he must notify the police of the fact of his return.


Those subject to orders requiring them to comply with the notification requirements for an indefinite period of time may apply to the Chief of Police for a review of the requirement to remain on the register after 15 years of the date of the first notification.

Click here to find out how Brett Wilson LLP criminal defence solicitors can help you if you are the subject of a criminal investigation or prosecution.


Legal Disclaimer

Articles are intended as an introduction to the topic and do not constitute legal advice.