Sexual Harm Prevention Orders (SHPO) and Sexual Risk Orders‍ (SRO)

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On 31st March 2023, two orders were introduced in Scotland, which can be applied to people who have committed sexual offences and / or are deemed to be at risk of causing sexual harm.  These orders form part of the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016.

1 - Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO): This replaces the SOPO (Sexual Offences Prevention Order) and the FTO (Foreign Travels Order)

2 - Sexual Risk Order (SRO): This replaces the RSHO (Risk of Sexual Harm Orders).  The Sexual Risk Order (SRO) is a civil order and so does not require a criminal conviction in order for it to be applied.

If you already have a SOPO, FTO or RSHO, please note your order will not change. You must continue to adhere to the conditions as set out in your order. 

The new orders have a lower risk threshold than the earlier orders, which means that they can be applied in a wider range of circumstances.

If you are given one of these two orders, you will be given a list of things that you cannot do and/or a list of things that you must do.

Some examples of the sorts of things you might find in an order:

  • Not being allowed to visit a place with lots of children
  • Not being allowed to delete your internet browsing history
  • Not being allowed to use the internet on an unmonitored device
  • Not being allowed to leave your home between certain hours
  • That you must tell your supervising officer if you begin a relationship with someone new

These are only examples, however. Your solicitor should help you to understand what you can and can’t do.

The order will apply for a minimum of 5 years. The exact duration will be set out in your order.


You will be placed under the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) and 'managed' in the community by police officers from the Sex Offender Policing Unit (SOPU).

We have more information, about what to expect and your rights, on our MAPPA and SOPU pages.

Will this order impact on how long I have to disclose my conviction for?

These orders are referred to as Ancillary Orders. Typically, an Ancillary Order must be disclosed until the end of the order. For more information, please see our Spent or Unspent page.

A table with examples of appropriate language use
A table showing the notification periods for the various sentence types. Prison sentence of 30 months or more (including life), Indefinite. Order for lifelong restriction, Indefinite. Admission to a hospital subject to a restriction order, Indefinite. Prison sentence of more than 6 months but less than 30 months, 10 years. Prison sentence of 6 months or less, 7 years. Admission to a hospital without a restriction order, 7 years. Community payback order with an offender supervision requirement, The length of the offender supervision requirement. Any other sentence (e.g. a fine or admonition), 5 years.
Last updated:
May 8, 2024


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