Sexual offences prevention order (SOPO)
Police can apply to the courts for a civil order if they can show that someone poses a threat of serious sexual harm. But they are most commonly secured when someone is convicted of a sexual offence.
In 2022, changes to legislation allowed both prohibitions and positive requirements to be imposed on an offender through these orders (previously they were just prohibitions). For example:
- prohibition: an offender is prohibited from having any contact with a child directly or indirectly unless in certain approved circumstances; and
- positive requirement: an offender must present their electronic devices to be examined by the police.
Failure to comply with the requirements can result in arrest and up to five years imprisonment.Back to Glossary