Officers praised for gaining orders to protect children from sexual harm - The Evesham Observer

Officers praised for gaining orders to protect children from sexual harm

Evesham Editorial 29th Feb, 2024   0

A CRACKDOWN on men posing a risk to children online has led to praise for three West Mercia police officers, the force’s legal team and its Civil Orders unit.

Together they successfully gained Sexual Risk Orders (SRO) and a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) against the possible predators.

DC Dean Bowen in South Worcestershire gained a standalone SHPO for a male who posed a risk of harm to girls.

DC Daniel Heidschotter in Telford and DC Peter Collier in North Worcestershire gained Sexual Risk Orders against men who posed a risk of harm to children, including online harm.

Civil orders are used to protect the public from sexual harm, including safeguarding children from sexual abuse and to safeguard new partners and the general public from sexual violence.

SROs can be applied to individuals, including those without a relevant conviction or caution, who pose a risk of harm children and adults in the UK and abroad.

Depending on the nature of each case, SROs can place a variety of restrictions and requirements on individuals, such as preventing child contact, limiting internet use, and enforcing individuals to tell police about intimate relationships.

SHPOs are intended to protect the public from offenders convicted of a sexual or violent offence who pose a risk of sexual harm to the public.

The order places restrictions and/or positive requirements on their behaviour.

The SHPO and interim SHPO also require the offender to notify their details to the police for the duration of the order.

Detective inspector David Bettison said: “SROs and SHPOs are useful additional tools when tackling sexual violence.

“The officers above have shown awareness of the options available to them to manage and reduce the risk these men posed.

“It shows real understanding of risk and victim care, plus determination to ensure that there are consequences for suspects and convicted offenders.

“We have a dedicated in-house legal team to assist and advise on the application of these orders and a small civil orders team, Zoe Harman and Aidan Collings, who work with officers and the legal team to gain these orders.

“We are seeing an increase in the applications for these orders which is very positive.”

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