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Justice (Sexual Offences and Trafficking Victims) Act (Northern Ireland) 2022

Section 25: Qualifying offences for Sexual Offences Prevention Orders (SOPO)

Section 25 amends provisions contained within the Sexual Offences Act 2003 by including ‘abduction of children in care’ (as provided for in Article 68 of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995) within the list of specified offences of Schedule 5 to that Act.

This is intended to improve the effectiveness of the SOPO by slightly widening the scope of offences to which the SOPO provision apply.

Schedule 5 offences allow for a SOPO to be made in respect of offences specified therein (as well as those specific to sexual offences and contained within Schedule 3) if they are committed in the overall context of sexual crime and where there is evidence of a risk of serious sexual harm.

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