The Safeguarding Specialists
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Isle of Man new sexual offence laws came into effect March 25 2024

Source: Isle of Man Government published on this website Tuesday 26 March 2024 by Jill Powell

The new Sexual Offences and Obscene Publications Act will modernise existing legislation, increase maximum penalties and strengthen sentencing powers for offences against children.

The Act, which comes into effect today, will introduce crimes like voyeurism, revenge porn and ‘upskirting’ into Manx law, reflecting changes in technology that have led to new types of offending.

This follows Tynwald approving the regulations and order which are required by the new law.

In addition to the new offences, the Act will outlaw conversion therapy, update child abuse and child exploitation offences, and revise court anonymity rules. Sexual Harm Prevention Orders and Sexual Risk Orders will also be introduced, which will allow controls such as curfews and exclusions to be placed on those who pose a sexual risk to others even before a conviction or guilty plea. The Act also contains more stringent notification requirements for convicted sex offenders.

The full Sexual Offences and Obscene Publications Act 2021 is available online.

Minister for Justice and Home Affairs, Jane Poole-Wilson MHK, said:

‘The modernisation and strengthening of these laws is a significant step towards making our communities safer, and making sure that we are dealing with these awful crimes in an appropriate and robust way. The Act will enable our Courts to give stronger punishments, and give the police more flexible powers to keep victims and the public safe from these harms.  I am very grateful to all those who have been involved in the journey of this Act and, in particular, the significant amount of preparation ahead of go-live on 25 March.’

Anyone who believes they have been the victim of a crime outlined in the new Act should contact Douglas Police Headquarters on 631212 or 999 in an emergency.

There has been an extensive training programme across Government and the Police to ensure all parts of the organisation are ready to deal with the new law.

If you’ve been affected by any of the issues in this release, there are details available of local organisations that provide advice on our wellbeing support webpage.