back to article Home Office says 'no decision' yet on sex offender disclosure

The News of the World appears to have jumped the gun with its "exclusive" report that the government now intends to roll out "Sarah’s Law", with the Home Office officially declaring no such decision has been taken. At the same time, the paper has overlooked the rather larger embarrassment that a supposedly confidential report …

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i hope this goes ahead....

seriously, i have a criminal conviction (drug related) and i kknow that many people can find out about this.

so, why the hell should paedos get any help at all? why should paedos have more protection from the state than my kids?

i mean they get easy jail time compared to everyone else (locked up in a special wing) and now protected in society. if you meddle with kids you lose the right to any kind of protection

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@Kaned

Absolutely right. While we are at it that lot from Edlington should also be listed. I mean who the hell wants that bunch of wierdos living next door. Naturally anyone who has committed murder should be listed. Anyone who has ever been stopped and found to be carrying a knife. Oh and a list of drug users down at the town hall would help us pick them out and perhaps allow us to protect ourselves from those thieving gits. And drink drivers, I mean the last thing I want to hear is that my kid has been knocked down by some old soak. While we are at it anyone who has any kind of driving offence because who knows what the school bus driver likes to do when he gets behind the wheel. Anyone ever done for jay walking because you really would not want to entrust your kids with anyone who does not even have the intelligence to use a pedestrian crossing. In fact lets just add anyone who is suspected of any of these offences to the list because, lets face it, you can't be too careful and what is one ruined career compared to the safety of the kiddy winks.

Oh and one more, anyone found to be or suspected of having been or thought to be harbouring the feeling that they my want to be a politician.

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hmmm

i know you are just being sarcastic. the thing is my employer (or prospective employers) can find out about my criminal record (caught with 100 Es), how the hell is this relevant to any job? surely knowing their is a sexual predator living in my street is more relevant that my case?

on the flipside i think society should be protected from serious criminals like convicted Paedophiles. remember that the vast majority of paedos get the most ridiculously short sentences (for example when i was sentenced i was briefly locked up next to a paedo - i was doing a longer sentence than him. 18 months for some pills, he got 15 months for molesting a BABY). this is a sickness, they never seem to grow out of it. the vast majority of paedos are multiple repeat offenders!

and to all the people that mentioned about shagging 15 year old when they are 16. i dont think you will find a court in the country (or police) that will do anything about this. even though its techinically a crime the authorities will actually seek to find if consent was given (yes, they are able to use their brains sometimes, shockingly)

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Anonymous Coward

Ahhh, the sound of naiivite

The main reason I think it is a bad idea is that the consequences of getting it wrong are disasterous. If you are mistaken for someone convicted of carrying 100Es, it's a bit embarrasing, but you explain the mix up and move on. If you are mistaken for a paedo, your life is over. Your job and marriage are over. You could be beaten up and killed. Everywhere you move the neighbours will hound you for the rest of your life.

And before you say it won't be like that, tell that to the poor paediatrician who had his windows put in after the last campaign led by the rag of the world. This topic evokes way too much emotion and normal reasoning just gets thrown out.

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Anonymous Coward

100 E's

Most people I have know with that much gear have been nast peices of work, so I do see it as relevent to work.

The reason drug dealers get long terms is because of the violence and crime that go with drug dealing.

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WTF?

When...

... people with drug convictions start getting beaten to death, then I'll agree with you. Until that point, I'll regard you as a Daily Mail contributor, and discount anything you say on this topic.

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@Citizen Kaned

You might like to note that bit about "Soft informationi"

You help out at a childrens group.

Kid does not like you/gets accidently hurt /whatever

Kid makes allegation

Your partner checks you out with scheme.

Bye bye partner.

Don't think this could *ever* happen to you? As long as you have *no* involvement with *any* "vulnerable" group you might be right.

I can understand the desire for this. I also know what can happen when people come up with *simple* answers to *difficult* questions (and the balence between the right to privacy and the right for "society" to be protected is about as difficult as it gets).

BTW is the News of the Screws still owned by that porn baron?

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thata fair point mate...

im talking about the convicted paedos. the ones who do many years for repeated offences. why should they have anonimity when any employer can check me out? (or anyone who has access to govt systems)

as you say there are stupid cases like the one you mention, but without a conviction would you be on the register?

also, i dont think anywhere that does things with small kids allows 1 on 1 time any more. even infant school teachers arent allowed to be 1 on 1 with young kids.

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Anonymous Coward

Yes!!

That is exactly the point! The register contains everyone who has had an ALLEGATION or even a passing concern has been raised - not just those convicted. As the previous poster says - malicious allegations, mistakes, all recorded and logged against you, and all can then be revealed if you meet the love of your life and she asks.

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@Citizen Kaned

Yes employers can check you out, but since most application forms ask for details of any convictions that does not make a great deal of difference apart from letting them know if you told the truth on your application form, by applying for a job with that employer you are agreeing to them being able to carry out that check into your history.

sarahs law as its being called is all about you finding out about that nice man next door who sometimes babysits for you so you and your other half can have an evening out, or little johnys parents who sometimes give your child a lift to school with their own children.

it shouldnt be about giving anyone anonymity, just about having the right information available

with regard to your comment about the 15 vs 16 year old and the police not wasting their time, if it is reported to them they have to be seen to have done something about it, rather than waste a courts time they apply a verbal caution, while its not a conviction it does get recorded as an offence (after all if you accept a caution you have admitted guilt) and once its recorded it will get reported.

as others have mentioned on here statistically your child is more at risk from a family member with no convictions than someone who has been caught in the past and convicted.

remember no record doesn't mean you aren't a peadophile, it just means you haven't been caught.

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WTF?

Oh, Ghod ...

... read the article!!! You could still end up on this obnoxious list without ever having done anything, let alone having been convicted.

But, then, if it saves just one child, it's worth it... (that's sarcasm)

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re: fair point

Alright then. If we were talking about some imaginary hypothetical law that actually worked that way I might agree with you. But that's not what it actually is. Even if it were only for offenses proved in court, "sex offender" does not equal "repeat child molester".

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Anonymous Coward

things need to be tightened up

Before things like this go ahead.

in theory a large proportion of the uk population are guilty of an offence that could land them on the list.

I certainly know I was, I had a sexual relationship with a 15 year old girl, (the fact that I was also 15 at the time makes her as guilty as me) but the fact that the relationship continued while I was 16 and she was 15 means that for a while in the eyes of the law I was raping her since she was below the age of consent.

right or wrong this happens every day and all it would take is for one person to report it to the police etc for it to completely screw up that persons life.

if the information about someone in my situation were to be shared it would be along the lines of. "received a caution for unlawful sexual relations with a minor" with no information to define context, in reality the context is boyfriend and girlfriend separated in age by 1 month (who stayed together for 14 years)

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LOL

i see some paedos have been in to disapprove of my comment.

i just dont understand why sex offenders are more protected than everyone else in society. surely kids should have better rights than sex offenders?

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Grow up...

And learn to type.

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Anonymous Coward

We rest our case...

"i see some paedos have been in to disapprove of my comment."

Yes - we all give in in the face of your impeccable rhetoric. Duh!

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WTF?

Believing in the rule of law ...

... doesn't mean that one is a "paedo" (note the spelling). Oh, and just in case you are unfamiliar with the term (as seems very likely) try http://www.lexisnexis.co.uk/about-us/rule-of-law/default.aspx, especially the bit abot it being nothing to do with mob rule.

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@Citizen Clueless

"i see some paedos have been in to disapprove of my comment."

And there you have a perfect example why a law like this is a bad idea because "anyone who disagrees with it or anyone who supports it must be a paedo!"

Forget about proof. Forget about due process of law. Forget about presumption of innocence, all we need now is suspicion and gossip and hearsay to ruin someone's life.

Oh and FYI the UK Police know where over *ninety eight percent* of all registered sex-offenders live.

In the USA where they have "Megan's Law" it's estimated that *twenty five percent* of registered sex-offenders have absconded.

I'm sure there's a conclusion that can be drawn...

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Anonymous Coward

"Look tough"?

Do you mean "look like a bunch of knee jerk, mob pandering idiots"?

"Sarah's law" makes a mockery of a legal system that claims that when your punishment is over, it's over. It opens the door to vigilantism. It criminalises the 16 year old who shagged his 15 year old girlfriend. It drives recidivists underground. The constant "won't somebody think of the children" bollocks trivialises violent crime against adults, especially vulnerable adults. And it doesn't work: your child is hugely more likely to be abused by a family member with no criminal record, followed by pedagogues, voluntary and professional, with no criminal record.

Is this the same News of World that likes publishing topless photos of 16 year olds? Is it the same News for Scum that runs count downs to starlets' 16th birthdays?

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FAIL

Great!

"150 inquiries, 79 applications for information and 10 disclosures"

So, 71 inquiries didn't result in an application for more information? That sounds rather odd.

Of the 79 who did apply, there were only 10 disclosures. That's 12.5% of applications for information that could actuially be processed.

To use the plebian vernacular - that's an EPIC FAIL!

Imagine going to your library and asking if a particular book was available and they could only answer 12.5% of queries...

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A Title

I think what they meant by 10 disclosures was that there WAS information to be disclosed in those 10 cases, in the rest there was no information.

the way I see it of the 150 enquiries it breaks down like this

71 were being made by people who had no need of the information (so they were discarded)

79 were made by people who were in need of the information

10 were about people that had relavent information on record

@citizen kaned

by your standards if you ever felt your girfriends breasts before she was 16 years old, even if it was a fumble behind the bikesheds at school and was through her clothes) you had better go and turn yourself in to be added to the list.

( I am assuming you are a straight male) if you happen to be a homosexual male then its even more confused as to whether it was legal or not with changes made to the age of consent (varying from 21 years old to 18 and then to 16 in the past I believe)

I am not against the idea behind the law, but more thought needs to be given to what should or should not be included or how the information is presented.

2 examples.. both now 45 years old

Mr Jones at 16 was sleeping with his girfriend who was 15 years old with her parents blessing, someone reported this and Mr Jones received a caution but no further action was taken, Mr Jones is still happily married with the girl the was sleeping with and they have children of their own.

Mr Smith at 40 years old was caught with his hand down a 10 year olds knickers, and was convicted.

a report on Mr Jones would record that he had received a caution for having sexual intercourse with a child

a report for Mr Smith would record that he was convicted of interfering with a child

given the current reporting method in your eyes both people above are branded peado's and cannot be trusted around children, given context you can see that Mr Jones is not likely to be a threat but Mr Smith is very likely to be a threat.

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Stop

criteria?

"Imagine going to your library and asking if a particular book was available and they could only answer 12.5% of queries..."

I took that to mean 10 positives???? With the rest being not necessarily negatives but including "you have no reason to ask".

I wonder what lengths they went to check whether the enquirers had genuine reason or just saying "I have kids and I'm dating XXX" was enough.

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Ship all the pedos to an island.

Ship all the pedos to an island.

No electricity for them.

No running water and let them live off the land.

And force them to have a sex change.

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@ jess...

if you read my previous posts you would see that i said that a while ago (god this new forum is shite isnt it?) - i mean about the stupidity of the law in some respects. and as you say almost all men would be on the register as many of us have had sex with pre 16s.

im talking about predatory paedos. you know the ones who were scout masters or infant school teachers and seemingly the whole catholic church (who knowingly helped their priests)

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Big Brother

What Safeguards Stop Cops Lying?

"Information would be provided at the discretion of police forces: those receiving it would be required to maintain what they learnt in confidence;"

That itself sounds like it could be wide open to abuse. Especially when combined with so-called "soft information".

What I want to know is what safeguards there are to stop police abusing this.

What's to stop police simply lying to concerned parents about people the police dislike? What's to stop police taking the opportunity to dish out some malicious lies about, say, the odd civil liberties activist who campaigns against the growing police state?

Will those who the police dish dirt about know? If they don't know, how can they have their names cleared and reputations restored if the police are making mistakes or dishing out malicious lies?

Without proper safeguards, and without those who are having dirt dished out about them knowing, this really could be the stuff of police state nightmares.

Perhaps I could just look this stuff up on relevant State websites, but I'm being lazy.

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Anonymous Coward

Safeguards? Very few, and none that are effective.

But that's why paedophilia is such a popular issue with politicians anyway. You don't need to prove a case - innuendo is sufficient to damn a person, possibly forever - the Sun Readers will go for it hook line and sinker. As will the average Plod. Just as with security theatre, we now have anti-paedophilia theatre, enacted by people with their own agendas.

And that's even apart from the huge question of whether consensual sex at just under the age of consent can be EVER remotely equated with gross, often violent, offences committed by mature people against very young children.

A primary tool of any emerging police state is to potentially criminalise as many of the population as possible. Hopefully, once the troublemakers and dissidents realise how easy it is to ruin their lives, they'll think twice about going up against the establishment.

Add this to the increasing police preference for quota-led cheap pinches over real police work, and we clearly have a problem. Having been on the receiving end of local police malice myself (having never committed an offence in my life beyond testifying in court as a witness that a policeman was a damned liar) I'm now totally cynical about any system that leaves information as seriously sensitive as this to the discretion of malicious and intellectually-challenged police officers.

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@Kaned

I know you made the point about it should only be the predatory ones that are on record but that is where the problem lies, at the moment it is anyone who is on record, not just the ones that pose a risk and there is nothing to distinguish the difference.

I wasn't going to say it but one of those 10 records that were used was mine, information was requested about me by a neighbour (he has known me since school but his wife has not) and it was done with my knowledge since they were interested as to how the system worked.

the information that came back made her panic about me where as my friend / neighbour laughed and told her the facts, the child was my girlfriend in school (we stayed together for 6 years) and we got reported by one of the teachers who overheard a conversation between us.

I received a caution for sleeping with her (I forget the exact wording but the offence made it clear that sex was occurring). interestingly there is no record of my age at the time or when the offence occurred, but there is a record of my girlfriends age (obviously no name though because she was a minor at the time and a "victim")

I actually own a company involving children and vulnerable adults but since I am never in a situation where I am alone with them (there are always parents / guardians / other staff / members of the public around) I do not legally need to be checked, if the ruling ever changes I may be in a laughable situation where I am not allowed to work for my own company that I have established and run for over 10 years, or I have to close the company all because I screwed my girlfriend 18 years ago.

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fair point....

this is why the law in an ass in so many circumstances. there needs to be a way to sort out stupid situations like yours from the real ones. im not sure how this can be done to be honest. i mean how can you be a paedophile by sleeping with someone less than a year younger?

i also have nearly come a cropper before. when i was 24 i pulled a lass at a party, you fill in the rest. i later found out she was only 16! i mean a couple more months and i could have been in DEEP doodoo. of course the lass had slept with more people than me! and she told me she was 19. scary stuff!

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FAIL

Funny, i thought after you've been sentenced...

... you were considered to have served your punishment.

The argument about protecting children from predatory paedo's always rings false in my ears - if their so predatory what are they doing out of gaol? Do we let predatory serial killers back out? If we do, then that clearly says that our sentencing regime is incorrect and not working. So that should be were any changes should be made.

Potentially ruining the lives of thousands of people in order to appease the daily mail readers seems a gross offense to human dignity to me!

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maybe...

in an ideal world. but then again this is FAR FAR FAR from an ideal world.

i take it you think 18 months for rape and 15 months for child molesting are long enough sentences? as many people who do these crimes get these sentences.

as i say i have seen up close how these people are. when inside i often saw paedophiles released. sometimes they were back in the same day for repeating!

anyway, bored of this now, i just hope nobody here's kids get abused by these evil people who are walking about freely as apparently children's civil rights are much less important than these sick people's rights. i maybe have a better insight into these people as i have seen and met a few (whilst incarcerated) so maybe i dont live in cloud cuckoo land

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Stop

I have far greater worries about my children ...

... than whether someone is going to have sex with them before they reach some arbitrary age. Not being able to have them grow up in genuinely free country where actual risk, and actual harm, is the criterion, not some microscopic risk of insignificant harm, is top of the list.

However, I'm bored with your illiberal "insights" now, so this is my last response to you.

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I get to live the dream!

As someone who is blatantly honest and blunt with pretty much everyone, a lot of people know I like younger females (I surely don't broadcast it, but when the topic comes up, I'm honest about it). Psychos are everywhere. There are psychos of every type. I won't deny that there are pedophile psychos (that's obvious!), there are gay psychos, black psychos, female psychos.. There isn't just one class of people where psychos exist. Regardless, I can easily prove I didn't touch the minor I'm accused of touching, but that's not what I'll be fighting. Instead, I'll have to fight the mindset of all pedophiles being evil predators.. Most court cases in the US regarding things like this are more based on proving whether someone is a pedophile as opposed to proving whether they actually committed a crime. Despite very good evidence to prove the claims are bullshit, I'll probably still go to jail and be put on a registry, despite having a clean record and doing my best to live my life with the shit hand of cards I've been dealt. Not to mention, it's been proven here in the US time and time again that the registry has ZERO effect on preventing crime. ZERO. It can prove someone may have done something based on previous crimes, it can also help give the government an excuse to search my residence whenever they feel like it, but in terms of helping people, look at the numerous studies that have been released (some even funded by the federal government, yet dismissed as inconclusive.. There's a shocker). So, I'll give a thumbs down. Registries do nothing but cause undue stress on lots and lots (and lots) of people, for.. Again, ZERO gain. The amount of money spent (gained) on these registries and the "task forces" that deal with this definitely explains the reluctance to accept that the registries really are ineffective, and people should realize that before they ask for it. I'm not on the registry (yet?), but if I am, I look forward to not being allowed to use interactive websites and being forced to run Windows (the tracking software they mandate only runs on windows.... eww)

tl;dr Registries are inefficient and a bad way to pretend the problem is solved.

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