What are Schedule One offences?
Schedule One offenders are persons convicted of an offence listed in the first schedule of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933. The term Schedule One offender has now been replaced and is now known as a “Person posing a risk to children”.
What are the types of Schedule One offences?
The basis of Schedule One is that past behaviour is a good indicator of future risk. As a result, the list of offences that agencies can use to identify a person posing a risk to children was issued by the Home Office in 2005, and includes current and repealed offences. However, the list is for guidance only and not exhaustive, and includes the following:
- False Imprisonment
- Assault or Battery
- Indecent Exposure
- Child abuse
- Abandonment of children under the age of two
- Possession of indecent photographs of children
- Child Stealing
Other factors that can go towards identifying a person posing a risk to children include:
- Individuals who have been cautioned/warned/reprimanded in relation to an offence against children
- Individuals against whom there is a previous finding in civil proceedings
- Those about whom there has been a previous Section 47 Enquiry which came to the conclusion that there had been abuse;
- An individual who has admitted past abuse of a child;
- Others whose past or present behaviour gives rise to a reason to suspect that a child may be suffering or likely to suffer significant harm e.g. a history of domestic violence and other serious assaults;
- Offenders against adults who are notified to the local authority, because the prison or probation services are concerned about the possible risk to children;
- Offenders who come to the attention of the MAPPA (multi agency public protection arrangements).
There are around a hundred other offences published in the 2005 circular that the Home Office advises should act as a trigger for further assessment by agencies and authorities to determine whether an offender should be regarded as a continued risk of harm to children.
What happens after a person has been regarded as posing a risk to children?
Once a person has been identified as posing a risk to children, agencies and managers will monitor and manage the risk of harm to others. The MAPPA guidance can be implemented for offenders who move from area to area frequently (many offenders relish the anonymity of moving to a new area of the country where he/she is unknown to locals).
The MAPPA process cannot only monitor movement and behaviour of offender, it can also offer methods to try and reduce the risk that include:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy – this is offered by a number of probation services in the UK for sex offenders and convicted domestic violence perpetrators.
- Working with the offender on any alcohol or drug abuse issues.
- Additional monitoring with police and mental health services.
Our specialist team are experts in this area of law. If you’re concerned that you could be categorised as a schedule one offender or a person posing a risk to children, our dedicated sexual offence solicitors can provide advice and help.