Getting permission to travel abroad while on licence

It can be very difficult, while on licence, to get permission to travel abroad. It very much depends on the reasons why you need to travel, and how willing your Probation Area is to grant you permission.

Generally, we find that people get permission refused, so we were pleased when, a couple of weeks ago, we received a report from somebody who was granted permission, so we want to share this:

“My probation trust has just granted me permission to travel for business purposes. My application was for travel to The Netherlands, returning the same day (business meeting). My index offence is a s.20 wounding and I still have about 4 months of licence. I applied about 3 weeks ago and it took this long to get a decision (it went all the way up to the regional direction) and it took a bit of chasing from my end”

For more information, visit the Travelling abroad while on licence page.

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Christopher Stacey

  • Billy no mates

    Thanks Alex, glad you have managed to move on with your life.

    I wish I had a PPU officer like yours. Mine has made it quite clear that he will contact any employer I end up working for to ensure they have filters in place to stop me going on sites I shouldn’t and that all my traffic is monitored. If they don’t he says he would have to come in to work to look at my history. So I have to disclose to every potential employer. I was released 3 years ago, came off licence almost 2 years ago and guess what? Still unemployed.

    Job Centre + have no clue how to help me, when I was on the work programme, they had no idea to help me. I was in a particular industry for 25 years, to become self employed I would need VERY expensive public liability insurance, before even disclosing to the insurance company that I have a conviction, which would push the premiums even higher. So for me self employment is a no go, because my skills are very niche.

    The only hope I have is going to work overseas for a company that isn’t British based, on the hope they will not ask about any conviction. But I still have nearly five years of not working showing on my CV, so how would that work? Then there is the cost, setting myself up would take up all of my limited savings, if it didn’t work out then I would be completely stuffed.

    Not going to re-offend though, but seriously considering killing myself.

  • Kirsty Beech

    My partener has recently been sentenced to 5 years in prison for an offence that occured when he was 11 but the courts were tough on him and thats what he got. I was just wondering if we were ever to have children even after he is off the register would the social be likely to get involved even though he isnt on the register and also will he have a criminal record forever or is it cleared after a period of time?

  • disqus_h9qV6K97oS

    I do have a slight concern they may want to, just as there is always the concern I could be ‘rumbled’ at some point in the future. But hey….that’s life. If the cops want to have a look, well, I don’t really have a plan b for that. However, without good cause I would certainly give them a robust legal challenge and also argue the risk factor element….I e the increase of risk by not being in employment et Al.


    I sympathise and my limited knowledge leads me to suspect the ss may come sniffing… Only may! If they do. Don’t listen to their lies and threats. they were awful to my wife…and our social worker was publicly discredit in open court by the judge for lying etc. Yes, of course she is still a social worker, albeit under a different name. Go figure….and her discrediting was in the papers, was quite a big story.

    If they cannot argue a strong case your partner is a risk to any future child, nor prove you are unable to protect said child, they have no case.

    But….a beacon of light…, and others I have known, who have such convictions, have Un restricted access to our own children…because we have convinced all concerned we are no risk to own children.

    Also, if you can, search the court of appeal ruling stating such offences should not necessarily prevent contact with own children. I think it is..from memory…
    Marc Henry shiers ewca crim 181

    So…I wouldn’t worry too much Kirsty…. And good luck with your futures. If I can help more I am happy for you to contact me via deb from unlock.

  • disqus_h9qV6K97oS

    Billy. ‘alex’ here. So sorry to read of your situation. Suicide? Yep….been there too…shame, fear, self loathing, loneliness etc etc. It’s taken a while….and determination, but I’m getting back on track. The greatest joy I have is being able to give a big chunk of my wages to my children’s mother so they no longer have to struggle. I can also stop for a coffee wherever I want without having to be concerned with the cost. Took my youngest shopping for shoes, and the eldest for a lovely Thai meal. Simple.BLISSFUL.

    This is what kept me going and dug me from the depths of despair. Wanting to, Once again, have self respect, self reliance, dignity but….above all being able to provide for those I love dearly.

    Keep at it Billy….it will be worth it. Become ambivalent towards those that create the obstacles for you….what do they know of your life….don’t let them control it forever.
    Everyone has skeletons….it is ours that have been made public. Fight. Fight. Fight harder…what do you have to lose. And don’t forget to try and laugh….especially at the farce of those you are obligated to under the guise of rehabilitation. This just confuses the he’ll out of them 😀

  • disqus_h9qV6K97oS

    Ha. I’ve been asked how often I masturbate and what I think of when I do.

    I just asked them the same question…with a smile and a hint of sarcasm…. They got bored and moved on.

    Who do I socialise with? You are the cops…you tell me…..again, moved on.

    Where do your siblings live? None of your business as they are nothing to do with this and don’t have a record…moved on….

    The point being, be pleasant but don’t allow them to take the mick.

    And remember…if they visit you, it’s your home your rules .

  • Walk the walk

    All my pppo have been great, it their “senior officer” that is the problem, arrogent, verbaly forcefull, even threatening as in “its up to me if you are released early from your SOPO & register” so do what i say or else. I almost told her to shove it where the sun dont shine & am more than willing to stay on the register & SOPO for the full time just to give her more work.
    I done my bird, survived it. I went from a nice person who made a big mistake to one who takes no shit from anyone now.
    I have not had anyone give me a hard time as they very quickly learn they have more to loose than me.
    Hey i been inside, one thing is for certain it wont be for a sexual offence if i have to go inside again, talk the talk then be prepaired to walk the walk.
    Work ? hey whats the point, some dead end job with no prospects, national minimum wage, struggling from one day to the next.
    Life is easy inside, give no bullshit, take no bullshit.
    Not much left outside for me, lost 95% of what i cared about.
    Bitter – yes, twisted yes, thats what prison “reform” does for you.
    Gone past the suicidal phase, been in this angry one for 18 months now.

  • chas

    I’ve read your posting a few times now Alex, and all the comments/discussion stemming from it.
    For my own part I was sentenced only 5 weeks ago, having been referred there by the magistrates court….on the basis that my offending was so serious that a custodial sentence would have to be considered. I was also referred to probation, who suggested I was at very low risk of re-offending….and I received an 8 months custodial suspended for two years, also I was placed on the SOR for 10 years. My life has been wrecked, and in my early 60s stand little chance of rebuilding my life.
    My crime, a first offence, was receiving paedophile images from a man I had been chatting to online, about early sexual experiences….I for my own part knew too much too young, but never had been able to talk about it or sought professional help, until I spoke to this chap.
    I had been sent less than a 100 images, but after being repulsed by them, I had deleted all of them, apart from 12 or so category C images, I had inadvertently missed, only found later by the police, scattered over my phones, desktop PC and laptop.
    He was later arrested for having 1000s of images and videos in his possession and my email found on his equipment brought the police to my door one morning, and barging in with 5 officers, terrifying my partner and alerting all my neighbours. Previously I had worked in Adult Health, yet I subsequently lost my job of 20 plus years, and have no hope of returning, with my partner looking at the prospect of having to support me when my eligibility for jobseekers allowance runs out after 6 months. I have lost dozens of friends, feel uncomfortable and horrified I may come across one of my former colleagues with whom I was once popular, but I am suspect now regarded as some dark monster, who once worked amongst them. The people I supported, some for more than 10 years, no longer have my friendship and support, as my employer dismissed me for gross misconduct, even though none of these things were in any way connected with my work, having occurred at home and not at work. I had no opportunity to say goodbye to any of them.
    So my previous life has been ripped away from me, and I use the word ripped full conscious of it’s meaning, because that’s how it feels to me. I have spent the last 25 years giving support and helping other less favoured in life’s lottery than me, I have as Alex suggests, made a 1% mistake, yet I have almost lost everything I worked for, and all the 99% of good, all the efforts I made to make the lives of others worthwhile, have been left a worthless few tatters. 99% of good is just meaningless now.
    It’s hard to look ahead, but I have to say to everyone in a similar position, please try not to sink under it all. I have met some decent people along this frightening journey, from my probation officer, to the MAPPA officers, who on first meeting, I reacted to in a very hostile way. But I’ve discovered since, they have a genuine humanity, and decency about them, and maybe this is a bit of luck. They aren’t like the thugs who have been dumped on some those unlucky chaps, leaving comments on here. Those working with me, seem to have also discovered I am a decent person too, which gives me a little bit of self respect back.
    It’s hard not to feel like the dark monster I mentioned earlier, but I am realising not everyone sees me that way, and that not everyone will. But the first thing I have to do is forgive myself for being such a fool and making the mistakes I have. Don’t misunderstand me, I knew what I was looking at when the emails arrived in my inbox, and I also knew, after spending time looking at them, what I needed to do with them.
    Thinking that was it to have the police at my door more than a year later was like the pale horseman leaving all I had worked for trampled down wrecked and lost. But I wont let this beat me, and as I said, my future looks grim, but f%( # I will not let it beat me.
    One thing I think has to be said, and it has been repeated a number of times in the discussion following Alex’s posting, each contributor puts it in their own way, but I think the Justice system is malfunctioning in a big way here. Where is the PROPORTIONALITY here? With paedophiles in every strata of society, from the judges, who in their superior manner hand out the punishment, to the police who barge into ones house waving a warrant, and repeating that they do everything in a professional manner, to the man in the street. There should be a pushback by individuals like us to try and demand some proportionality, instead of all the vilification. Society shows huge hypocrisy here, and nobody steps up, apart from Unlock, to air the issue. If you get prosecuted for sex offences of this nature, everyone feels they have the right to cast the first stone, and it’s wrong.
    Those of us who are brought up before the courts have to face loss of jobs, friends and family banishing them, the judgment of self appointed vigilantes, and low life’s running tarck em down websites, having there names in the press etc. All the good things we might have achieved ignored.
    So my best advice is to do what I am and intend to keep on doing, to resist all these forces by fighting to keep our self respect, forgive ourselves, and make a future worthwhile despite all the daunting obstacles ahead.
    Sorry if I’ve made some grammer or spelling errors in this comment, it alkl came out in a stream….of not quite vitriol, but anger and defiance.
    Don’t let it all ruin the rest of our lives, none of us are monsters, indeed there are monsters out there in society posing a white night and law givers, so forgive yourself your trespasses as the big man usrairs will do.
    Rgds Chas