Tag Archives: police

Removal from the Sex Offender Register

Notification Requirements and the Sex Offender Register

How to Be Removed From The List

What is the ‘Sex Offender Register’?

Despite its name, there isn’t an actual sex offender register.  The phrase refers to the notification requirements imposed upon those offenders convicted of sexual offences. Over 50,000 individuals are currently subject to these notification requirements.

The duration of the notification obligation depends on the sentence received by an individual and the age of the offender. Below is a list of the relevant periods for adult offenders:

sex offender register notification requirements

What are the notification requirements?

The notification requirements imposed are complex.  They mainly involve keeping the police informed of your residence and any travel plans.  The police also require notification of changes to your personal details such as a change of name.  They will want to know whether a person is residing in a household with a child.  Bank and credit card details as well as passport/identity documents will need to be disclosed.

It may be that following sentence you do not understand your full obligations under the notification requirements.  If so, please contact us immediately so that we can give you specific advice.

What happens if I do not abide by the notification requirements?

It is important that you fully understand your obligations.  Non-compliance is likely to be a criminal offence.  You can be punished by up to 5 years imprisonment. Any breach is always treated seriously by a court.

Indefinite notification on the sex offender register

It can be seen from the table above that some offenders are subject to the notification regime for an indefinite period. When the regime was first introduced that meant that a person would be subject to the requirement for life.  A court judgment in 2012 changed that.

This change in the law now means that some offenders can apply to have indefinite notification requirements removed.

The law only changed, whoever, in relation to those with an indefinite period of registration.  If you are subject to notification requirements for a fixed term you are unable to apply to have them reduced or removed.

When can I make that application?

The timing of any application will depend upon your age at the time of the offence:

  • an adult can apply after 15 years
  • a juvenile can apply after years.

If you are also subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order that must be removed before an application can be made in respect to notification requirements.  Again, we will be able to advise and assist you in relation to this part of the procedure.

How do I go about doing that?

There is a 2-stage process.

Firstly you must make your application to the police. If that application is refused then the decision can be subject to appeal before the Magistrates’ Court.

Do the police always refuse these requests?

Although your initial feeling might be that they do,  in our experience this is not the case. Some police forces have reported an initial success rate in some two thirds of applications to be removed from the sex offender register.

It is not, however, a straightforward matter.  A simple letter to the police asking for the requirements to be lifted is unlikely to succeed. In considering your application, the police have to apply a statutory test.  As a result it is vital that your application is drafted professionally to give you the best chance of success.

When they determine an application, the police must—

(1) have regard to information (if any) received from a responsible body;

(2) consider the risk of sexual harm posed by the offender and the effect of a continuation of the indefinite notification requirements on the offender; and

(3) take into account the matters listed below:

(a) the seriousness of the initial offence;

(b) the period of time which has elapsed since the offender committed the offence (or other offences);

(c) where the offender falls within section 81(1) of the 2003 Act, whether the offender committed any offence under section 3 of the Sex Offenders Act 1997;

(d) whether the offender has committed any offence under section 91 of the Act;

(e) the age of the offender at the qualifying date or further qualifying date;

(f) the age of the offender at the time the offence was committed;

(g) the age of any person who was a victim of any such offence (where applicable) and the difference in age between the victim and the offender at the time the offence was committed;

(h) any assessment of the risk posed by the offender which has been made by a responsible body under the arrangements for managing and assessing risk established under section 325 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003;

(i) any submission or evidence from a victim of the offence giving rise to the indefinite notification requirements;

(j) any convictions or findings made by a court (including by a court in Scotland, Northern Ireland or countries outside the United Kingdom) in respect of the offender for any offence listed in Schedule 3 other than the one referred to in paragraph (a);

(k) any caution which the offender has received for an offence (including for an offence in Northern Ireland or countries outside the United Kingdom) which is listed in Schedule 3;

(l) any convictions or findings made by a court in Scotland, Northern Ireland or countries outside the United Kingdom in respect of the offender for any offence listed in Schedule 5 where the behaviour of the offender since the date of such conviction or finding indicates a risk of sexual harm;

(m) any other submission or evidence of the risk of sexual harm posed by the offender;

(n) any evidence presented by or on behalf of the offender which demonstrates that the offender does not pose a risk of sexual harm;


(o) any other matter which the relevant chief officer of police considers to be appropriate.

How can we assist in your application?

sex offender register notification requirementsYou will appreciate from the list of considerations that the appeal process is complex and will require a detailed application from you.

We can assist you in collating the material necessary to draft and submit an application.  This will ensure that any application you make has the best chance of success.  This will be true whether it is considered by the police or before a court.

Contact a specialist criminal solicitor

We have a number of solicitors who will be able to assist you with any query or application relating to the sex offender register.  Please find information about your nearest office here.  Our team provide nationwide advice and representation, so if it is difficult for you to make an appointment then please contact is using the form below and we can contact you to discuss how best to progress your case.




A Freshers Guide to Staying Out of Trouble…

…With the Police

Every graduate remembers Freshers week well! It is your first real taste of total freedom from your parents. You have money, friends to make and a desire to prove your drinking prowess in the form of a freshers week arrest legal advicevariety of crazy drinking games just to get accepted into the rugby, rowing or hockey club.

Ten pints in and it is suddenly fun to lie in the road, rugby tackle a few passers-by for a laugh or run naked down the street.

The problem is that whilst you are out, carelessly stumbling around, CCTV cameras in city centres are watching your every move.

Arrested during Freshers Week?

Sadly, year after year, we represent students arrested, especially during Freshers week, for offences such as assault, criminal damage or causing harassment, alarm or distress in a public place, as well as possession of an illegal drug.

freshers week police arrestIt is unlikely that most first offences will result in a prison sentence. The consequences, however, of the conviction on your future career may be great. It may even affect your ability to continue with your degree where the university instigate disciplinary proceedings.

This will be more likely when you are studying a vocational degree where as part of your learning, you have contact with the public. We have represented students studying medicine or nursing degrees, where their criminal conviction has brought them before the Fitness to Practice Panel of their regulatory body.

Free and independent legal advice

If you are unfortunate enough to get arrested during your degree, remember that everyone, regardless of their financial means, is freshers week student legal adviceentitled to free legal representation at the police station. The cost of this advice will be paid for by legal aid. This service can be accessed 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

If you are under investigation for a criminal offence or recently convicted AND your university is looking to bring proceedings against you, it is always worth contacting a solicitor to know and understand your rights and how best to proceed.

Contact a criminal law specialist

A specialist lawyer can be contacted through any of our office numbers at any time of the day or night to provide you with free and independent legal advice at the police station.

People being spoken to by the police for the first time might not think that they need a lawyer.  Speaking without one would be a mistake.

Here are 10 good reasons why you will want to take advantage of our advice.
 Details of your nearest office can be found here.
VHS Fletchers offices across the East Midlands

Alternatively you can use the contact form below.


You should always ask for VHS Fletchers in police interview because…

People appear reluctant to seek advice for a police interview.  Why?

You should always ask for VHS Fletchers in police interview because…

We are free.

free legal aid for police interviewNo matter what time of the day or night, or how long a solicitor has to spend providing you with expert advice and assistance, our services will be free to you as we hold a legal aid contract with the government.

The government recognises that the last thing a person will want to think about when detained by the police under investigation will be whether they can afford to be represented.

You don’t need to worry about that. Ever.

What other reason could you need?

We don’t mind being woken up.

Well, not really.

It is part of a criminal legal aid solicitors job to answer the phone in the middle of the night to give advice, and attend the police station where necessary.

VHS Fletchers is large enough to ensure that solicitors have a break from being on call. We also have the staff to make sure that a member of the firm deals with your case rather than pass your case to an agent.

It is one of your rights so you should use it.

You have the right to legal advice so it must be important. Make sure you exercise that right.

We are experts in the field of criminal law.

police interview solicitors nottingham newark chesterfield derby mansfieldIt is perhaps unlikely that you will have a knowledge of police practices, court procedure, rules of evidence and criminal charges. Our solicitors do. A person wouldn’t be shy about consulting a dentist, plumber or accountant depending on need. Why be shy about instructing a free solicitor in the middle of the night?

Even if you haven’t done anything wrong we can help you.

Choosing to have a solicitor doesn’t make you look guilty to the police. Choosing not to have a solicitor might make you a push over in terms of how the police deal with your case.

Why would you choose to go into the alien environment of a police custody suite or interview without the benefit of a trained expert in the field of criminal law?

If you haven’t done anything wrong, you might still struggle to explain yourself in the pressure of a police interview. Our presence and advice will help with that pressure.

We are entirely independent of the police.

Although we have a legal aid contract with the government, we are entirely independent of the police and the courts. You are our client, and the free advice and assistance that we give will be to help you.

…Because it is never a ‘quick chat’, despite what the police say

The only reason you are being interviewed is because the police suspect your involvement in a criminal offence. Any ‘quick chat’ is to investigate that. The outcome of the chat might be a police caution, or a charge for a serious offence, with serious consequences for your future.

We won’t delay your release.

The time that you are detained in the police station is entirely down to the police. During normal office hours, we have a number of solicitors and accredited representatives who are available to attend the police station at short notice to provide you with free advice and assistance.

free advice for police interviewsOut of hours VHS Fletchers operate an on-call rota system where we have four staff members on call at any one time, and the ability to call on more representatives to assist if need be.

If you are arrested further afield then we will ensure that you are represented by a solicitor who can help you immediately without causing delay.

We know that you will want to be released from the police station as soon as possible, and wouldn’t wish to delay that process. The police, on the other hand, often pass an investigation from officer to officer due to changing shifts or due to how they wish to organise themselves. It is likely to be this, and any investigation they are carrying out, that will cause delay.

If you are charged then what happened at the police station is likely to be very important to your case.

If your case comes before the court then your police interview is likely to be important, particularly if you are having a trial. It is likely to help you if you have given thoughtful and considered responses to police questioning having had an opportunity to discuss the evidence first.

police interview criminal defence lawyerIt might be that you have chosen not to answer police questions. This could be because the police have insufficient evidence when you are interviewed. If the evidence is then forthcoming, your solicitor could attend court to tell a jury about the account you gave in private consultation where this is the same as the defence you give in court.

We will give you time to think.

In nearly all cases the police will tell us some information about your case in advance. This may include the names of any witnesses and what they say happened. It can include forensic or telephone evidence. We may have the opportunity of viewing CCTV evidence.

police interview nottingham vhs fletchersYour legal representative will then have an opportunity to speak with you about the information disclosed and take your instructions. You will receive advice about what the evidence shows and whether you ought to give your account to the police.

It is only when you and your solicitor are happy that you are in a position to be interviewed will the interview take place. Should you need to discuss any aspect of your case during interview then you will be able to request that the interview be stopped for a further consultation.

Your solicitor might notice a point of evidence in police interview that you need to provide instructions on. In that case, they can request that the interview be stopped.

Without a solicitor, the police will not provide you with the evidence in advance and you will have to make your decision whether, and how, to answer questions during the interview. In those circumstances, it might be difficult to give your best account.

We can negotiate with the police on your behalf.

A solicitor will be important in negotiations for many reasons following police interview.  You might feel you need medical attention.  Perhaps the police need pointing in the right direction in terms of the investigation.  There might be a compelling need for your release.

It might be argued that there is insufficient evidence to charge you with an offence.  Alternatively, where the police are thinking of charging a serious offence we will have the opportunity to suggest less serious offences.

The police may want to keep you for court to seek a remand into prison custody.  We can suggest bail conditions on your behalf at the police station.

Alternatives to charge might be appropriate such as a police caution or a restorative justice measure. Again, we will argue for this on your behalf.

We are free, we are experts and we are on your side.

Make sure you call us, day or night.

Find you nearest office here.

Alternatively use the contact form below:


Bodycam Footage Helps Secure Not Guilty Verdict in Five Minutes

police bodycam footage trial solicitor
Nottingham crown court

Nottingham crime solicitor advocate Andrew Wesley recently represented a client at trial before Nottingham Crown Court.  The allegation was that his client had assaulted a teenager in the street with a stick.  Fortunately, the aftermath of the incident was captured in police bodycam footage so the jury acquitted five minutes after retiring.

Client was a victim of anti-social behaviour

The background to the case was that Andrew’s client and his housemate had been subject to anti-social behaviour for eighteen months prior to this allegation.  This had involved abuse, threats, damage to property and assaults.  Although the police had been involved time and again, they advised our client that there was insufficient evidence to bring any of the culprits to justice.

The day prior to the allegation, both householders had suffered assaults and damage to the fencing of their address.  The problems started again on the night of the allegation.  The fence was damaged again, youths entered their garden, and threats were made.

As well as calling the police, our client’s housemate went onto the street to try and film those involved.  She was hit with a stick so our client had to intervene and pull her back into their house.

The police were called again, but in the meantime a large group had gathered, including the parents of one of the alleged victims of an assault, and further threats were made.

Bodycam Footage captured initial complaint

The crowd dispersed because the police arrived, and our client and his housemate made a complaint.  This was captured on bodycam footage.  Unknown to them, however, one of the youths had turned matters around and claimed that she was the person assaulted by our client.  Two of her friends backed her up in her story.

Andrew’s client elected to have his trial by jury which in this case was a wise choice.  Although there were obvious problems with the prosecution case, a choice had been made to proceed.

Evidence before the jury that could not be challenged

Through careful preparation, Andrew was able to rely on evidence that could not be challenged by the prosecution so helping the jury decide that his client was not guilty.  This included:

  • the 999 call of the housemate that showed the witnesses could not have been telling the truth
  • the injuries of the complainant were minor so not consistent with the assault described at all
  • footage taken by our client showed the mood of the group after the incident to be threatening and abusive
  • police bodycam footage captured the first complaints of our client and his housemate as well as their demeanour.

Both our client and his witness gave evidence well.

Although the prosecution witnesses also came over well before the jury, there was a large amount of evidence that at the very least suggested that they were not telling the truth.  The jury took no time at all to come to that conclusion so our client was found not guilty.

Positive client feedback

We have been provided with feedback as to how we dealt with the case from beginning to end.  It is particularly pleasing to be able to read comments such as:

ilkeston crime solicitor bodycam footage Further, the praise was not dependent upon the outcome for our client:

ilkeston criminal defence lawyer bodycam footage

Finally, we know the stress that police investigations or court proceedings place on both our clients and other people involved in the case.  Our aim is to try and remove as much of that pressure as possible.

ilkeston legal aid solicitor bodycam footage

Contact a Criminal Law Specialist

This case was prepared from our Ilkeston office by experienced crime solicitor Chris Evans.  We are the only firm providing advice and representation under the legal aid scheme in Ilkeston.

You can find your nearest office here but we are able to provide our services nationwide.  Alternatively, you can use the form below to contact us.


Police BodyCam Footage Key in Trial

police bodycam
Chesterfield partner and crime solicitor David Gittins

Chesterfield Crime solicitor David Gittins recently defended a client before Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court charged with an allegation of domestic assault.  Police Bodycam footage was of key importance.

David’s client was found not guilty following a full hearing of the evidence at trial.

David first met his in Chesterfield Court cells. He had been refused bail by the Police.  David made a successful bail application.  As we offer continuity of representation, David then continued to deal with the case on behalf of his client.

Client of Good Character

This involved several meetings with him at our Chesterfield office to prepare the case. David’s client had never been in trouble with the police or court before.   The potential effects of a conviction for this offence could be far reaching.

The Allegation

It was said that David’s client and partner had argued following a family meal. His partner demanded that he spend the night on the sofa.  It was said that in response to that he grabbed his partner by the throat and hit her, causing scratches to her neck and a cut to her lip.

A neighbour gave evidence that she had heard the incident through the wall and had spoken to the complainant before calling the police.

Self-Defence Argument

Our client provided a different version of events.  He said that he had been grabbed by his partner and hit to the face.  He had pushed her away and taken hold of her to prevent further attack.  He maintained that his actions were reasonable.  He acted in self-defence.

David’s client entered a not guilty plea and the case was listed for trial.   David asked the prosecution to serve additional evidence before the trial including body warn camera (BodyCam) footage from the police/  This turned out to be crucial to the defence.

Crucial Police BodyCam Footage

On behalf of his client, David had the complainant confirm parts of her evidence again.  Importantly she stated that as she didn’t strike her partner, he had no injuries.

police bodycam footage trial david gittins
Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court

David was then able to show the complainant and the Court the BodyCam footage from the police who attended the incident. Recorded comments and injuries meant that the complainant had to change her account.  Further inconsistencies in her account were then brought out by questioning.

Although the neighbour gave the same account that she had originally given to the police, David was easily able to establish that she could not give evidence as to what had actually happened on the other side of the wall.

Finally, David made sure that the prosecution read into evidence the agreed statement from a police officer confirming that his client has a fresh injury to his eye when first seen by the police.

David’s client then gave evidence on his own behalf.

Closing Speech

David was able to rely on the burden and standard of proof when speaking on behalf of his client.  The BodyCam footage and his client’s injuries undermined the account of the complainant.  In order to find his client guilty the Magistrates had to be sure that he used unlawful force.

The Magistrates returned their verdict after a short while. They could not be sure that the complainant’s account was true and as a result found David’s client not guilty.  He kept his good name.

Contact Us

Defendants in domestic violence cases might feel that it is difficult to put their case across.  This is why there will be a benefit in instructing a diligent and focused specialist criminal solicitor who will review all of the evidence in detail.

In this case, an analysis of what the complainant had said as recorded on the police Bodycam allowed David to demonstrate that the complainant might not be telling the truth.

If you wish David to represent you at either the police station or Magistrates’ Court please telephone 01246 28300 or email him here.

Feedback from Nottingham Clients

We have started to analyse the client feedback for the Nottingham office, and are again pleased by the positive comments about the individual lawyers and the firm generally.  Although we could not set out all of the positve comments for all of the solicitors, a few comments properly reflect the general tone of those who replied to our request for client feedback.

One client commenting about a Magistrates’ Court case handled by Nick Walsh said ‘I found VHS solicitors more helpful than others.  The solicitor I have is very good at his job.  Very satisfied with the help and information throughout my case’.

Another commented that Nick was ‘understanding, non-judgemental and invaluable in [his] compassion’.  Further clients said of him ‘used previously in a case, brilliant service both times’ and ‘you took time to listen’.

Finbarr Hennessey, a Magistrates’ Court Advocate known for making extra efforts on behalf of his clients,  is described in similar terms by a number of clients – ‘The solicitor I have is very good at his job’, ‘A1 Service thank you’ and ‘Finbarr Hennessy is an excellent solicitor and needs no improvement’.

It is all the more pleasing to note that, despite moving firms to us when Campion & Co solicitors stopped undertaking criminal work that his clients found their way to us and continue to receive the high level of service from Finbarr that they had grown used to.

Senior Crown Court Litigator Caine Ward deals with a high volume of the most serious of cases where the stakes, in terms of outcome, are particularly high.  A similar theme is revealed within the answers to our requests for client feedback – ‘You took the time to listen to us’ and ‘you listen to people and take time to understand even when people get mad’.

Caine is described as ‘Professional, courteous, informative and friendly’ and providing ‘great service, great experience and very professional and friendly’.  As a result another client stated ‘I have recommended people to you’.  The latter is perhaps the greatest compliment, that a client has been pleased with the level of service received and referred others to us.

Derek Brown deals with clients in the police station and before the Magistrates’ Court.  He is described as being ‘comfortable to talk to and very supportive under the circumstances’.  He ‘couldn’t get better’ and ‘helped me understand what was happening’.

In one particular case, Derek was unfortunately unable to provide the usual continuity of representation, but the client view was that the firm offered a ‘good legal team, it was a very good service’.

Finally, Julia Haywood has received feedback that would be unsurprising for all clients that met her.  One client said ‘I thought you were fantastic from day one.  You were very supportive to my family before and after sentence’.  Another mentioned that he was ‘treated with respect and dignity at all times’.

Further clients found Julia ‘helpful and understanding’ and a solicitor who provided ‘a professional service’.

Additional client feedback can be found here and here.

VHS Fletchers would hope that all of these comments demonstrate that we are a firm that you can trust with any matters relating to criminal defence.  If you wish to speak with one of our experienced lawyers please contact your nearest office here or contact us by email here.

VHS Fletchers Nottingham