Govt considers US-style paedophile disclosure law

Britain is moving ahead with plans to test a US-style law giving parents more information about convicted paedophiles but has made no final decision, government sources said Tuesday.

Govt considers US-style paedophile disclosure law
Britain is moving ahead with plans to test a US-style law giving parents more information about convicted paedophiles but has made no final decision, government sources said Tuesday.

Dan Norris, a member of parliament in the Labour Party, said Monday that his Wansdyke constituency in Somerset, southwest England, was to be the first area in Britain tested when the Home Office launches it own version of Megan's Law in the United States.

Parents will be able to ask if offenders live in their street, on popular school routes or near their playground.

The plans aired in the media over the last few days. But some criticsare worried and say such disclosures could spark vigilante-stylejustice, drive sex offenders underground and put children in evengreater danger.

However, a government source who asked not to be named, said the Home Office, which has been conducting a year-long review, has taken no final decision on whether a pilot project would go ahead.

"The Home Office is actually still in discussions with stakeholders about the possibility of piloting a model ... along the lines of disclosure and has the support of interested parties, including MPs," the source said.

The source said an announcement was expected after local elections in May.

The government has been under pressure for years to tighten controls on sex offenders following the murder conviction of a repeat child molester authorities knew was dangerous but could not contain.

Public frustration boiled over after Roy Whiting was sentenced in December 2001 to life imprisonment for the kidnap and murder of eight-year-old Sarah Payne.

She was killed in July 2000, three years after Whiting ended a jail term for abducting and sexually abusing another young girl.

The event triggered Britain's answer to Megan's Law, which first came into force after seven-year-old Megan Kanka was raped and murdered by a convicted paedophile in New Jersey in 1994.

Many US states passed laws requiring communities to be informed when a convicted sex offender was about to move into the neighbourhood. In May 1995, President Bill Clinton signed similar federal legislation, calling it "Megan's Law".
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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