Criminal Justice Week: Over 3000 visits made by dedicated sex offender management unit ensuring GM safe from re-offending

Every year in Greater Manchester, hundreds of sex offenders are put behind bars following comprehensive investigations by our officers and detectives across GMP committed to getting justice for survivors.

Many of those convicted are also served with Sexual Harm Prevention Orders (SHPOs); introduced in 2003 – then known as Sexual Offences Prevention Orders – as an additional power to impose restrictions on offenders after they have been released from prison to prevent harm to the public.

Over 300 such SHPOs were granted across GM in the last 12 months, meaning that our team of over 60 trained officers and staff in our Sex Offender Management Unit (SOMU) can work with partners to enforce restrictions that control activities that may lead to sexual offending.

All registered sex offenders must notify police about any changes to personal information such as names, aliases, and address of residence; notify police about passport information and bank details; notify police if you plan to leave the country; periodical taking of photographs and fingerprints; notify police if you have resided at a household or private place where a person under 18 stays.

A Sexual Harm Prevention Order can also be imposed and remains in place for at least five years – or can be imposed by a court indefinitely – and any breach is a criminal offence.

Conditions for a SHPO can consist of telling the police what devices they own, who they are in contact with, and – in exceptional cases – limits to where they can and can’t go in the community.

Regular visits are undertaken by our Sex Offender Management Unit to ensure that offenders are complying to the conditions imposed on them, with in excess of 3500 visits made in the last year alone.

Thankfully, only 100 (less than 3%) of those visits required us to arrest individuals for suspected breaches who went on to be charged for breach of SHPOs.

This includes Dante Ingham-Marsters (27) from the Bowden area of Trafford who was jailed for seven-and-a-half years earlier this week after our Sex Offender Management Unit found he’d been breaching his order during a routine check after inciting a teenage girl into sexual activity via social media.

Also recently convicted was Simon McDonald (44), from Wigan, after we were alerted by his probationer to him breaching the conditions of his SHPO – he is to be sentenced next month.

The team work closely with agencies from probation, housing providers, education services, the NHS, prisons, and many more to ensure that offenders are not able to cause further harm to the public.

We’re continuing to do all we can to protect the public from harm and sexual offending – whether it be in the real world or the digital world – by safeguarding and supporting survivors, and target and prosecute offenders.

All our officers tackling sexual abuse will ensure that all necessary steps are taken to use the extent of the necessary legislation so that all available powers are used to ensure offenders are preventing from harming again – and, if they do, we can work with partners agencies to take them off the streets.

If you or someone you know has been raped or sexually assaulted, we encourage you not to suffer in silence and report it to the police, or a support agency so you can get the help and support available.

– Saint Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Manchester provides a comprehensive and co-ordinated response to men, women and children who live or have been sexually assaulted within Greater Manchester. They offer forensic medical examinations, practical and emotional support as well as a counselling service for all ages. Services are available on a 24-hour basis and can be accessed by calling 0161 276 6515.

– Greater Manchester Rape Crisis is a confidential information, support and counselling service run by women for women over 18 who have been raped or sexually abused at any time in their lives. Call on 0161 273 4500 or email

– Survivors Manchester provides specialist trauma informed support to male victims in Greater Manchester who have experienced sexual abuse, rape or sexual exploitation. Call 0161 236 2182.

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