51-year-old man caught by GMP officers taking images of women at Manchester Pride convicted for breaching Sexual Harm Prevention Order
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On Saturday 27th August, Project Servator officers were deployed in Manchester city centre in support of Manchester Pride Parade.
Project Servator consists of highly visible and undercover police deployments to disrupt criminal activity whilst simultaneously providing reassurance to the public.
Shortly before 2pm during the Pride Parade the deployment was taking place on Peter St when 2 plain clothes officers observed a male acting suspiciously around women and walking with his phone to his ear, but the screen was seen to be in photo mode.
He is then observed taking a picture of an unknown female and was immediately challenged by the officers.
Plain clothes officers identified a male taking pictures of females within the crowd and upon speaking with him discovered he was a registered sex offender with an order preventing him from taking pictures of any female not known to him whilst in a public place.
Checks on the phone reveal hundreds of photos of women and it was suspected many were taken at the Pride event.
Andrew Smoggie (07/09/1970) of Thelwall Lane in Warrington was charged with a breach of his Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO). A SHPO 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.
Smoggie was remanded in police custody and appeared at Manchester & Salford Magistrates court on Monday 29 August where he pleaded guilty.
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.
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
Saint Mary's SARC in 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
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.