back to article Sex offenders will get a review – after 15 years

Government ministers are bracing themselves for a storm of protest today, as the Home Secretary announced plans in the Commons to grant sex Offenders the right to appeal against a continued obligation to notify the authorities of their whereabouts. This follows a case in the UK Supreme Court last year in which two convicted …

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  1. Mme.Mynkoff
    Dead Vulture

    Will The Register now change it's name to ...

    The SexOffenders Reg?

  2. ph0b0s

    Argh!!! Pedogeddon

    Just listerning to the MP's it seems like Armageddon. I don;t think it will make much of a difference, as just think how hard it is going to be to prove you will never be a threat again. Instead they aught to make it that jobs were your previous sex offence has no impact on your job performance sex offenders, should not be discriminated against. Then being on the sex offenders register will not be such a human rights issue.

    1. ph0b0s

      Really need to proof read things before posting

      Take 2:

      Just listening to the MP's, it seems like Armageddon. I don't think it will make much of a difference, as just think how hard it is going to be to prove you will never be a threat again.

      Instead they aught to make it that for jobs where your previous sex offense has no impact on your job performance, sex offenders should not be discriminated against. Then being on the sex offenders register will not be such a human rights issue.

      1. Havin_it
        Headmaster

        Really need to be sure of your shit before grammar-Naziing

        You missed:

        MP's => MPs

        aught => ought

        sex offenders register => Sex Offenders' Register

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Re: proof reading

        You ought to spell check while at it ;)

  3. Jord
    FAIL

    Why...

    ...don't the government just tell the Supreme Court to go and fuck themselves with a large stick on this occasion?

    These are peadophiles and rapists we're talking about here, the worst kind of criminal in my book. Even if it is possible to rehabilitate someone of this persuasion (something that is very difficult to prove), the fact they have committed a crime of this nature in the past should be reason enough to at least keep tabs on them.

  4. The Original Ash
    Thumb Up

    I approve.

    When a 17 year old can be put on the register for sending a pic of themselves in the buff to their respective partner, there needs to be some kind of review process. They could do any which thing they want with any member of the opposite gender (homosexual consent is 18), but god forbid someone should see some skin on a camera!

    If anything, this review process has been too long coming. Those who are a threat will still be on the register, those who did something silly 15 years ago will be aloud to get on with their lives, exactly as rehab. of offenders should work.

  5. Captain Underpants
    Thumb Down

    Oh excellent, more pseudo-moralising from twats who are not lawyers.

    So....the government's stance is basically that you can't reform a sex offender, but you can release them into the community after they've served the sentence attached to their criminal conviction. Or am I missing something?

    I mean, let's try and be internally consistent here - there's no Murderer's Register, but murder is one of The Big Ones when it comes to The List Of Shit You're Not Supposed To Do, right alongside things like rape.

    So why is it, exactly, that the legal system considers it believable for someone to say "I was a murderer but I got better" but not if a rapist says the same sort of thing?

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Why...

      That's 'peadophiles', rapists, bicycle-fondlers, curtain-twitchers, furtive wankers and people who were convicted of a very wide range of things they may not actually have done, to be more precise.

      1. Anonymous John

        Re: Re: Why...

        Will nobody think of the bicycles?

      2. Jord

        Re: Why...

        "...people who were convicted of a very wide range of things they may not actually have done..."

        To have to register for life with the police in the first place, they have to have served 30 months in prison (or more) for their crime. Obviously there are people on the 'register' who have done nothing wrong, but that can be said about thousands of people who have served prison sentences for various crimes. This was not my point. If someone has served 30 months or more in prison for a sex crime, it is not likely to be because they are a 'curtain-twitcher'

      3. Alexander Hanff 1
        FAIL

        Re: Re: Why...

        People need to remember that some of the things which can have you placed on the sex offenders register are completely inappropriate.

        For example, it is my understanding that if you are convicted for indecent exposure it is required that you be added to the sex offenders register.

        What many people don't realise is that you can be charged with indecent exposure just for taking a leak up an alley - even if no-one actually sees your wedding tackle. If the police pass and see you up the alley or anywhere else taking a piss in public you are basically screwed.

        It used to be that the police would give you a talking to and send you on your way, but with such an emphasis on performance statistics nowadays it is becoming more frequent that pissing in the street/up an alley results in being arrested and charges being filed (I have witnessed this myself several times in the past couple of years).

        Then of course there are the multiple "false positive" convictions every year and of course the issue of strict liability offences.

        I am not one to support paedophiles and spent many years working with abused kids and tracking down paedophiles online for law enforcement - so it is an area I have a great deal of experience in - but our current legal framework for criminal sexual acts is a complete mess.

        Until such time as we can be sure our primary legislation is actually working properly (which it currently isn't) condemning people to the sex offenders registers for non sexual "crimes" or potentially innocent people, is clearly unacceptable.

        People accused of sexual acts with minors for example, are pretty much guaranteed not to have a fair trial which means there are likely many miscarriages of justice in this particular area of law - it is a big issue and Theresa May needs to stop talking out of her arse and actually start looking at the problems we face instead of trying to build support for the Government kicking Human Rights into touch.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Rule of Law

      "Why don't the government just tell the Supreme Court to go and fuck themselves with a large stick on this occasion?"

      Rule of Law.

      (Not to be confused with rule by law, which is something very, very different.)

      If the government was able to just decide for itself whether or not Supreme Court rulings applied, the government would effectively be above the law. Whenever the government disliked a Supreme Court ruling, it could "just tell the Supreme Court to go and fuck themselves", leaving the courts powerless to stop the government just trampling all over our liberty and rights. We'd be living under tyranny (how ever nicely it's dressed up), rather than living under Rule of Law.

    3. Chad H.

      @ Jord

      Well that would leave an uneforcable law on the books. The courts aren't allowed to go against what precendent the senior courts have set. In fact, I think this might be the prefered option of all those kiddy-fiddlers.

    4. Alan 6

      It's because

      The majority of murders are simply one-off crimes - either crimes of passion or revenge, that won't be repeated.

      There are very few repeat offending murderers, thankfully, and the ones that are usually find themselves locked up for life in Broadmoor or Ashworth.

      Paedophilia is a mental illness that cannot be cured, look at the likes of Gary Glitter, they see no wrong in what they do, and without admission of guilt there is little or no chance of them stopping offending...

      ps and no, cutting their balls off does not work...

      1. Owen Carter

        I agree...

        Internet trolling is a mental illness that cannot be cured, look at the likes of Alan '6', they see no wrong in what they do, and without admission of guilt there is little or no chance of them stopping offending...

        PS. and no, cutting their fingers off does not work...

        (Although sometimes we do have to correct their spelling.....)

      2. Captain Underpants
        Thumb Down

        You can't generalise the behaviours involved in a range of crimes as wide as this, though

        You do realise that "sex offender" isn't limited to "child molester", yes? Indecent exposure is one thing that can get you on the register if you're unlucky, which means that (for example) having One Dring Too Many, then arguing with the policeman who bollocks you for weeing in an alley can end up with you being on the register.

        Still sound like a good idea?

        And that's before we get to "the majority of murders are simply one-off crimes" - do we have a valid statistical analysis comparing the instances of murder and previous/subsequent violent crimes with instances of sexual offences and previous/subsequent sexual crimes? Because, well, without such a statistical analysis, trying to make a generalised comparison between the two is an exercise in futility.

        It'd be nice if the legal system worked on a basis of rehabilitating and reforming criminals to reintroduce them to society or permanently remove them in cases where they can't be safely reintroduced. Bullshit grandstanding like Theresa Mays "ZOMG THINK OF THE PUBLIC" comment, predicated on a notion that All Sex Offenders Are The Same, does nothing to promote that. It'll go down well with people who want a Simple Solution and See Things In Black And White, though, because You're Either With Us Or Against Us.

        1. LPF

          @Captain Underpants

          Stop talking rubbish!!!

          The people put for life on a sex offenders registers, are not people caught taking a whizz up against a pub wall! YOU KNOW THAT so stop actingas if you have a room temperture IQ

          1. Alexander Hanff 1

            erm..

            Actually YES IT CAN - granted it may be infrequent, but it happens.

          2. Franklin
            Thumb Down

            @LPF

            "The people put for life on a sex offenders registers, are not people caught taking a whizz up against a pub wall! YOU KNOW THAT so stop actingas if you have a room temperture IQ"

            Your faith in the judicial process is touching.

            You may think that's the case, but a few hours with a Web browser and the URL of any sex offender registry should be enough to convince you that it's not.

        2. catch3r
          Thumb Down

          another wrong one...

          For indecent exposure, you have to have been sentenced to imprisonment or a community sentence of at least 12 months. You are exceptionally unlikely to get this for urinating in the street / alley, unless there are significant aggravating factors, in which case it's not just pissing up an alley.

      3. Alexander Hanff 1
        WTF?

        erm what?

        I suggest you go an look at the statistics on how many people convicted of assault, murder, affray and other violent crimes go on to repeat offend before making blanket unqualified statements.

        Furhermore, you state categorically that paedophilia is a "mental illness" more completely unqualified nonsense.

        Try researching the issue you are commenting on instead of just typing utter tripe.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "cutting their balls off does not work."

        It depends which bit you throw away.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Morality

        What a lot of people don't seem to realised is that social mores change over time - to the poster claiming sex offenders had a mental illness, go back in time a few centuries and marriages of 13 year olds were perfectly normal.

        The same applies to a lot of the "sex offence" crimes

        Now, I'm not saying it's right or acceptable today - We as a society have decided what the laws are (again, avoiding the question of how much the laws are based on sensible opinion and how much on daily fail reader's moral outrage) - But whatever the case, I don't see how you can classify it as a mental illness.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      more pseudo-moralising from twats who are not lawyers

      Right back at you!

      Murder has one outcome - the victim is dead. In most cases, murderers are in prison for a substantial amount of time, and if they've commited more than one, will often never be released. And fine, there isn't a register. But the Police will still pull in the "Usual Suspects"

      Sex offenders may only have been convited of something that gains them months in prison (flasher), but you really want to track them afterwards.

      EVERYONE, should have the right of appeal. Doesn't mean their appeal will be granted.

      Shawshank Redemption: "I know how you feel, I'm up for rejection next week"

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      some pedantry

      "any member of the opposite gender (homosexual consent is 18)"

      Huh? No it isn't, it's been 16 for yonks.

      But the rest of your comment was spot on...

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Jord

      "These are 16 year olds who were caught shagging their 15 year old girlfriend we're talking about here". FTFY!

      Also, I'm interested in your idea that sex crimes are worse than, eg, killing people. Not that it's a huge problem, the Home Secretary seems to share your perverse views.

    8. Daniel B.
      FAIL

      Bicycle-shaggers, @Jord

      You seem to forget that the Sex Offender Registry includes a lot of things, not only paedo/rape. El Reg has a couple of innocent cases where the "sex offender" was reported as such for ... screwing a bike.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Jane Fae

        Not in England

        This case comes from Scotland - and may also be partly the reason why the Scottish legal review of the SOR is slightly milder than the one Theresa May just announced.

        The difference is that a peculiarity (?) of the offence of Breach of the Peace in Scotland - but not throughout the rest of the UK, is that a guilty verdict may be followed with your addition to the Scottish SOR. The bike guy got done for doing something strange in his hotel room...was surprised by two cleaning ladies (who in their turn were extremely surprised by what he was doing to his bike)...and done for BotP.

        The SOR notification followed.

        That would be much less likely in the rest of the UK (and not just because of the esteem in which those south of the border hold their bikes).

        jane

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

    9. Franklin
      FAIL

      No, actually, it's not

      "These are peadophiles and rapists we're talking about here,..."

      That's the common notion--people think "sex offenders" are pedophiles and rapists. And, it is true, some of them are.

      But the overall majority of folks on the various sex offender registries aren't. The politicians love to be able to say "There are tens of thousands of REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS living ALL AROUND YOU!!!11oneone", because it's scary and scared people are easy to manipulate, but the reality is a bit different.

      Just for the sake of curiosity, about two years ago I spent an entire afternoon looking at the sex offender registry in the city I lived in (Tampa, Florida, USA at the time). The registry is available on the Web, together with the corresponding docket numbers and court cases.

      I found a LOT of people (more than 1,500 living nearby, in fact), but startlingly few "pedophiles and rapists". It's astonishing what people were on the Registry for--taking a whiz in an alley in the middle of the night (that's a sex offense? Really?), "lewd and lacivious behavior" (between two adults who were fully dressed), "transmitting an indecent or lascivious communication over a computer network" (still not sure what that was about--cybering, perhaps?), and my personal favorite, "lewd and lascivious act/child/victim under 12 months old."

      That last one sounds like a serious, hard-core pedophile, right? The sort of incorrigible violent offender we all need protecting from, right? I looked up his court case. Turns out he was a guy who'd been driving along the interstate and stopped by the side of the road to take a leak. If you expose your genitals in a public place within so many feet of a minor, regardless of context or circumstance, that becomes a "lewd and lascivious act on a minor." His 2-month-old child was asleep in the car at the time, and, well...

      If you really think that we're talking about "peadophiles and rapists," you're not paying attention.

      1. Jord

        @ Franklin

        "If you really think that we're talking about "peadophiles and rapists," you're not paying attention."

        No, it is you who hasn't paid attention.

        "There is no centrally held register of sex offenders in the UK, but the Home Office says the system of notifying the police is commonly known as the sex offenders register." (source: BBC news - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12476979).

        There is no official sex offenders register in the UK. What we are referring to here are people who have served 30+ months in prison for serious sex crimes, and have to register with the police every day for the rest of their lives. There will obviously be failings in the system and people will have to be on the 'sex offenders register' when they don't deserve to be, but Mr. bicycle shagger, and people who 'take a whiz' in the middle of the night are unlikely to have served 30+ months in prison for their crimes, are they?

        1. Is it me?

          Depends if you believe in rehabilitation and redemption.

          Just because you have served 30+ does not mean you will ever do it again, or that you are a threat, seems only fair to me that for some offenders, you can appeal and be taken off, if you are not a threat to society.

          Sadly it is also true that some offenders are not curable, or redeemable, but we should give those who are a chance.

          We do for murderers and drug dealers for multiple crimes, why shouldn't we for one off sex offenders who have learnt their lessons.

    10. Veldan

      Close...

      My understanding (though this may just be Australia) is that it isn't illegal to have pictures of 16 year olds (legal age of consent) if they were given freely from the person. It is illegal to BUY images/videos of 16 & 17 year olds however.

      This is mostly to do with the fact that you can have sex with them, but you can't pay for sex with them.

      Imagery follows a similar principle on this one...

      However if you replace 17 with 15 you're spot on. Particularly "funny" when they are sending it to a same age (or younger) bf/gf and getting in trouble for it...

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    11. Paul Johnston

      Murder

      If you are convicted of murder you have to get a life sentence.

      On being released you are only done so "under license".

      This is in effect a register as you can be recalled at any time and under very low levels of evidence.

      Not sure how far they go back up the legal ladder but don't think there has to be a trial or anything like that.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still weird

    Still never can understand why any crime involving naked skin has a greater punishment than murder. To me the worst thing that can happen to someone is to be killed. That says something psychologically imbalanced in those that push so hard.

    Everyone keeps talking about pedophiles, but having outdoor sex to spice up your life is also a sex crime now, at one time this would have been recommended behaviour in cosmopolitan magazine. Many if what is now deemed as a sex crime, such as extreme sex, I can still see on TV. Such as the rape scene on "Last house on the street" recently seen on Sky. Why is the director not on the sex offenders list? Pretty extreme to me.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    SACK THERESA MAY!

    I'm not on the side of sex offenders here, but Theresa May now seems little better than her New Labour predecessors. The only improvement - if it is an improvement - is that she seems to lack the wacquiness associated with New Labour brand Home Secretaries. But if that means she's actually more competent, that could be a bad thing, if it means she'll do a better job of undermining our rights and freedoms.

    "Addressing the Commons this lunchtime, Home Secretary Theresa May said she was "disappointed and appalled by this ruling" and that "this places the rights of sex offenders above those of the rights of the public, but government has no choice"."

    So, she's just the latest in a string of Home Secretaries to believe that they know better than the Supreme Court (or House of Lords for earlier cases). What a disappointment she's turned out to be.

    And I don't agree that this is putting "the rights of sex offenders above those of the rights of the public", since they still have to remain on the sex offenders' register while they remain a sufficient risk to warrant such monitoring. By the sounds of it, it's only once they're demonstrably safe enough to be allowed off the register that they could then appeal to be allowed off. The rest of the public are clearly coming first.

    "All relevant agencies will be consulted, and the final decision left to the police, not courts, as in Scotland: the police are best able to determine whether an individual constitutes a risk, she said."

    I seem to remember Tony Blair also believed the police and security services, rather than the courts, new best when it came to protecting our society.

    Even if the police do know best, that doesn't justify leaving these decisions up to them. If we apply that logic more generally, we'll end up giving the police the power to sit as judges, juries and executioners - after all, they deal with criminals all the time, so they surely know best, don't they?

    I really hoped we'd got off this road towards a police state, but it seems we're still on it after all. It's as if the general election was nothing more than a stop at a service station on the way.

  8. Wommit
    FAIL

    This is still very DM

    So, I get caught with a cartoon of Lisa & Bart Simpson engaging in oral intercourse (or the 2012 Olympics logo if you prefer) on my PC, get a long prison sentence (because I'm obviously a complete and total perv and waste of O2). Get released after spending my sentence in effective solitary (because the ordinary decent criminals don't like pervs and I'm a convicted perv.) And then I have to wait _15_ years before I can appeal.

    Of what about the 15yo teenager who sends a silly photo of him/her self to their SO? Same situation.

    All of this presupposes that the original laws which put people onto this register are fair and just. And that the judicial process is unbiased, and that the police officers attending the case actually 'do their jobs' and don't stitch me up, because they are _sure_ that I'm hiding the _real_stuff somewhere and anyway, I'm single and I have a whole bunch of computers in my home, so, let's face it. I'm as guilty as sin right now, so why do we have to bother with the expense of a trial, just fall down these stairs sonny boyo.

    </rant>

    I need a lie down now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Grenade

      Sounds like...

      "Of what about the 15yo teenager who sends a silly photo of him/her self to their SO? Same situation."

      Sounds like the time is ripe for a dose of mass disobedience.

      Let's all set a date to send someone we know a dodgy picture of ourselves?

      Like the "Draw a picture of Mohammed" day.

    2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Also, she seems to support outlawry.

      Assuming the report is actually what she said, I find the clause "...which will assert that the rights of citizens come before those of criminals" extremely worrying. It implies that this putative Bill of Rights will remove citizenship from criminals, which will certainly make it easier for the government, since there will only be about three voters in the country after a few years!

      Please, please, please, anyone in tempted to state anything along these lines - remember that a criminal is a citizen as well, and has basic rights that must be protected. Don't agree? - well, think about that speeding/drunk and disorderly/breach of the peace/littering you have in your past. Do you want to be an outlaw for the rest of your life, because that is what the assertion that a criminal is not a citizen means.

  9. Chad H.

    Erm...

    I hate Kiddy-Fiddlers as much as anyone... But if someone has "repaid their debt to society" then it hardly seems fair to keep punishing them. We don't keep tabs on theives after their sentance is complete.

    Perhaps we need to regrade the offense.

    Pure kiddy-fiddlers get auto-life.

    Things like stat rape where there's a real relationship and not just child abuse get something less (eg a 15yr old and her 18 year old b/f).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    40 years ago

    When I think about the stuff we did in school (an all boys school in the midlands), and during the cross country runs (nothing like a quick wank with friends in the countryside when you're 14-15) I'm amazed that the entire population of the UK hasn't turned itself in and self-registered themselves on the sex offenders list. Out of my class of 31 boys, I'd guess that only 4-5 were "pure" in the terms of the current legislative views with the rest of us being either confirmed exhibitionists, voyeurs or both - in school and out of school ... and don't even get me started on my years in the Boy Scouts (hence the AC post). And from what I saw before and afterward, I believe that we were a representative cross section of comprehensive school kids from our community.

    Yet , on the whole, we all turned out OK judging from our Friends Reunited pages - I've not heard of a single sex crime from the lot of them although one guy did a couple of years from drug dealing in his 20's.

    And there's that one kid who's a Lawyer now ... at least he's not a Banker.

    1. Adam-the-Kiwi

      re: Erm...

      So what you're saying is that there should be some kind of review process - perhaps after, say, 15 years?

      1. Chad H.

        No... (@ Adam)

        I'm sayIng abolish the register, don't let out the real fiddlers who will repeat, and let those who fall into a "mistake of circumstance" be.

        If the real fiddlers don't get out, no need for a register; and those who make mistakes of passion who won't repeat can get on with their lives.

    2. asiaseen

      And the impure ones

      get what? Auto-death?

    3. Rattus Rattus

      @AC 16:03

      "And there's that one kid who's a Lawyer now ... at least he's not a Banker."

      Sounds like he was already enough of a banker back in school.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Why are our officials illiterate?

    "this places the rights of sex offenders above those of the rights of the public, but government has no choice".

    I mean seriously, does that sentence even make sense?

    Not only is it a grammatical mindfuck, but sex offenders ARE members of the public.

    That's what the public is, it's everyone.

    I vote for an intelligent leader... oh wait that's not an option. Democracy rules!

  12. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @Why are our officials illiterate

    All home secretaries since 1979 have actually been robots operated by the same computer program.

    Unfortunately the software was done in a rush on BBC micro in basic and is still running on the same system (if it ain't broke ....). The software for other cabinet ministers has been upgraded allowing them to use polysyllabic words - also without making any sense.

  13. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @40 years ago

    Hence the need for a comprehensive school register - it has come to the government's notice that the majority of criminals (that get convicted) went to comprehensives - while the majority of those who made a small administrative error in their tax or expenses went to public school.

    The only solution is a comprehensive register of former comprehensive students (or peasants , to use the technical term)

  14. Recaf
    FAIL

    Sex offenders will automatically come off the register?

    "Explaining that the government will do the minimum to comply, she explained that sex offenders will automatically come off the register."

    A missing 'not' in there somewhere, I suspect ;-)

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Errors happen

    What happens when an innocent person is placed on the register by a malicious person? It is easy to get someone done. All you need is a child or woman to go to the police and make up a story. They will be believed and the cops will make sure that they get a conviction. So, for the rest of the poor sods life, he is branded with no means to clear his name and move on. I'm sure if an MP were accused and their name dragged through shite, their name would be removed without question.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Chad H.
      WTF?

      @ Errors happen

      When it comes to rape, the stats suggest the opposite is true - The errors that happen let people off.

      Guardian in a March 2010 puts the report to conviction rate at a measly 6%.

      Far too often I guess it comes down to he said, she said.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
        Boffin

        @ Chad H.

        "Far too often I guess it comes down to he said, she said." And so it should. Remember: guilty unless proven guilty, burden of proof on the prosecution, and guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. In a situation where there are only two people with no witnesses, the prosecution always has the difficult job because the burden of proof is really difficult, and there should always be reasonable doubt in the mind of a member of the jury.

        Fiddling around the edges to make sexual offences more capable of successful prosecution has made the country a worse place, not a better one, even for those it was meant to protect.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Impressive

      So not only are the cops corrupt, but also the magistrates who decide whether someone is convicted, or the members of the jury who decide at the higher court. With such a disastrous legal system, best you move off to somewhere where it's fair, say Russia.

  16. Willington
    WTF?

    Won't somebody think of the children?

    No matter what you think about paedophiles or sex offenders, let's not forget the fact that we are just fcking animals, no different from monkeys or dolphins (both of which have been documented to perform rapes). It's animal instinct which our society has, to some degree, managed to supress but it's still animal instinct. Did someone up there say "mental illness which cannot be cured"? Is hysteria a mental illness too Alan 6? Get some therapy!

    All of that aside though, paedophiles make me sick. I would personally want to torture and kill anyone who abused my children in that way as, I imagine, would any parent. But if we all lived life like that it would be absolute chaos and the strong would kill the weak, the rich would kill the poor and there would be no more society so I, like most other people, live by the law.

    But the real issue here is that if we have crimes in this country that cannot be forgiven by society then the next step is either a) drug addicts, thieves, people who don't take their library books back on time will all eventually suffer the same fate and be branded a criminal for life or b) we bring back the death penalty! I don't want to see either of these futures.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Willington, I don't agree.

      "I would personally want to torture and kill anyone who abused my children in that way as, I imagine, would any parent. " I as a reasonably well-balanced person, would take far more into account than mere "abuse". Severity and frequency would play a big part. There are far worse things that could happen to children than some other child playing "doctors and nurses" with them, for instance, and I wouldn't be overly upset if my 15 year-old daughter was having a sexual relationship with anyone, including, say, a 50 year-old man. These are irrelevancies, and it is time the law looked at real harms, not imaginary ones.

      1. Willington

        Re: Willington, I don't agree.

        I'm not sure that you don't agree. You mention a 15 year old daughter having a sexual relationship. I don't see anything to worry about there either. If you had said "a 15 year old daughter who had been groomed from the age of 8 by a 23 year old man" then I would have a concern, but you didn't so I don't.

  17. Rombizio
    IT Angle

    Interesting subject but....

    I fail to see the IT side of it.

    1. asiaseen

      It's a database

      OK?

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. LPF
    FAIL

    Again for the dimwits

    THIS ONLY APPLIES TO P[EOPLE ON THE REGISTER FOR LIFE!!!

    TO GET ON IT FOR LIFE, YOU NEED TO HAVE COMMMITED A SERIOUS SEXUAL OFFENCE!

    NOT WHIZZING UP AGAINST A WALL!! christ!!

    1. The Original Ash
      FAIL

      Serious sexual offence? Here you go

      If a 17 year old sends a photo of themselves in the buff and sends it to their partner (boy/girlfriend), three offences have occured (at least). Forgive me for not knowing the *actual* terminology for the offences.

      The 17 year old is guilty of distributing child pornography (you must be 18 to appear in lewd imagery).

      The partner is guilty of possessing sing child pornography (as the subject is not 18).

      Most worryingly, the 17 year old is guilty of sexual misconduct with a minor (as, being 17, they cannot consent to taking a picture of their own body!)

      All three get you life on the register. Does that make sense?

    2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Yeah, yeah, shout, shout...

      How about that guy who was fired from his teaching job after some rules have changed and he was looked up as being on the SOR? And his crime was sleeping, when he himself was 18yo or so, with his 15yo (or so) girlfriend whom he subsequently married and had children with?

      Who is the pervert and registered as socially dangerous - he or the people who marked him for life as a dirty animal?

      You know both Romeo and Juliet would have been on the SOR had they lived today (maybe that's why they killed themselves)?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Please go read the Act instead of the Daily Mail.

      1) Stop writing in all caps. It makes you look even more..

      2) "In the United Kingdom, the Violent and Sex Offender Register (ViSOR) is a database of records of those required to register with the Police under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, those jailed for more than 12 months for violent offences, and unconvicted people simply thought to be at risk of offending." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violent_and_Sex_Offender_Register).

      3) The Sexual Offences Act 2003 is available here http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/42/contents. The following are those acts categorised as offences under the Act:

      Rape

      Assault by penetration

      Sexual assault

      Causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent

      Rape of a child under 13

      Assault of a child under 13 by penetration

      Sexual assault of a child under 13

      Causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity

      Sexual activity with a child

      Causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity

      Engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child

      Causing a child to watch a sexual act

      Child sex offences committed by children or young persons

      Arranging or facilitating commission of a child sex offence

      Meeting a child following sexual grooming etc.

      Abuse of position of trust: sexual activity with a child

      Abuse of position of trust: causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity

      Abuse of position of trust: sexual activity in the presence of a child

      Abuse of position of trust: causing a child to watch a sexual act

      Abuse of position of trust: acts done in Scotland

      Sexual activity with a child family member

      Inciting a child family member to engage in sexual activity

      Sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder impeding choice

      Causing or inciting a person, with a mental disorder impeding choice, to engage in sexual activity

      Engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a person with a mental disorder impeding choice

      Causing a person, with a mental disorder impeding choice, to watch a sexual act

      Inducement, threat or deception to procure sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder

      Causing a person with a mental disorder to engage in or agree to engage in sexual activity by inducement, threat or deception

      Engaging in sexual activity in the presence, procured by inducement, threat or deception, of a person with a mental disorder

      Causing a person with a mental disorder to watch a sexual act by inducement, threat or deception

      Care workers: sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder

      Care workers: causing or inciting sexual activity

      Care workers: sexual activity in the presence of a person with a mental disorder

      Care workers: causing a person with a mental disorder to watch a sexual act

      Indecent photographs of persons aged 16 or 17

      Paying for sexual services of a child

      Causing or inciting child prostitution or pornography

      Controlling a child prostitute or a child involved in pornography

      Arranging or facilitating child prostitution or pornography

      Causing or inciting prostitution for gain

      Controlling prostitution for gain

      Keeping a brothel used for prostitution

      Trafficking into the UK for sexual exploitation

      Trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation

      Trafficking out of the UK for sexual exploitation

      Administering a substance with intent

      Committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence

      Trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence

      Sex with an adult relative: penetration

      Sex with an adult relative: consenting to penetration

      Exposure

      Voyeurism

      Intercourse with an animal

      Sexual penetration of a corpse

      Sexual activity in a public lavatory

      Offences outside the United Kingdom

      If you read the entire list (instead of doing what I think you probably did tl;dr) you'll see at the bottom of the list Exposure, Voyeurism and Sexual activity in a public lavatory are all on the list of offences. These could well get you put on the Register.

      On top of that "In response to a Freedom of Information Act request in 2009, for example, Greater Manchester Police reported that of 16 people in their area placed on ViSOR since 2007, 4 (25%) had not been convicted" (same WIKI source as before).

      So you don't even have to have been convicted in order to be on the Register.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Abuse of position of trust: acts done in Scotland

        Wow, that's tough!

      2. catch3r

        Visor versus sex offenders register

        The two are not the same thing. You can be on Visor without being on the SOR.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @LPF

      I suggest you try pissing in the wind, it will be a better use of your time.

  19. Graham Bartlett

    Let's simplify things

    Release criminals when they can show they're unlikely to do it again. For most criminals, they *aren't* likely to do it again (reoffending rates are around 2 in 5). For sex offenders, they *are*.

    That's my main criticism of the woolly thinking that "it's a mental illness, so it's not the person's fault, so they don't deserve punishment". Prison has three roles: punishment, rehabilitation and protection of the public. If you're not safe to be let out, I don't care how long a sentence you've served.

    1. Alexander Hanff 1
      Thumb Down

      Or you could stop talking shit

      Re-offending rates for violent crime are far higher than 40% as you suggest. Last time I checked with the National Statistics Office re-offending rate of people convicted for violent crime was over 60%.

      I will concede that the number of violent "re-offences" was a little lower but not significantly so - however, violent offenders rarely go on to lead a crime free life according to the official statistics.

    2. Pablo
      Stop

      [citation needed]

      This factoid, that sex offenders have an exceptionally high recidivism rate, is oft repeated and seldom supported. At best it's true for specific types of sex offenders. But even then, I think you'll find other crimes with a higher recidivism rate still.

      Unfortunately, good stats on this are somewhat hard to come by, but heres one source:

      http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=2392

      One interesting trend according to that source is that severity of the crime seems to be inversely correlated with reconviction rates. And that means conviction for any crime, not just the same one. So for instance murderers have a lower reconviction rate that rapists, who in turn have a lower reconviction rate than burglars.

    3. Willington

      Let's complicate things

      "Release criminals when they can show they're unlikely to do it again."

      This could apply to any crime and has nothing to do with statistics, it needs to be on an individual basis, something like the Three Strikes system which is ok I suppose but you are also suggesting that sex offenders are only allowed one strike.

      "For most criminals, they *aren't* likely to do it again (reoffending rates are around 2 in 5). For sex offenders, they *are*."

      I can't validate your figure (and note with interest that you didn't mention the reoffending rate for sex offenders to allow me to make a comparison) but I'll agree for the sake of argument that sex offenders reoffend more often (not that I agree that they do, we're just pretending) but unless the reoffending rate for sex offenders is 100% then there is still a need for an appeal system.

      "That's my main criticism of the woolly thinking that "it's a mental illness, so it's not the person's fault, so they don't deserve punishment"."

      People who were sexually abused as children have a greater tendency to abuse children on reaching adulthood. Is it their fault they were abused as children? Should we put abused children on the register too just in case?

      "Prison has three roles: punishment, rehabilitation and protection of the public. If you're not safe to be let out, I don't care how long a sentence you've served."

      Though I agree with the sentiment of this, who decides if you're safe to be let out? Obviously it's the parole board but let's imagine that a fortnight ago a reoffending sex offender made the headlines for eight days (in the Daily Mail of course) and the media is baying for the blood of the officials who *let this happen*. Who really decides?

      It's not a simple subject.

  20. JaitcH
    Alert

    Once again PLOD, not the courts, determine the penalty

    The government, by making Plod the ruling body, is usurping the courts function and letting a biased party be the determining party.

    Where the hell is the justice in this?

    (VietNam has a solution. Many rape artists only get to do it once or twice as most are sentenced to death!. Few repeat offenders.)

  21. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Sex offenders register not very useful anyway

    If your actually on the sex offenders register it not that much of a intrusion to your 'normal' life anyway. The main requirements are to sign on a your local cop shop once a year, tell the plod if you move address or are going to stay at another address for 7 days or longer in a 12 month period, have a on the spot visit at your home a few times a year (but they person on the register has a right to not let the police in if its not a convenient time such as they were about to leave for work or have family visiting) and inform them if your planning on leaving the country for more than 3 days. Oh and of course not to commit any criminal offences.

    So in other words they can go about their day to day business as normal they could even spend their time travelling round the country not having to tell the plod where they are staying as long as they don't spend more than 7 days in one place. And could have a weekend in Amsterdam without having to inform the police they were leaving the country.

    Although being on the sex offenders register means they are less likely to commit another sexual offence the notion that it is some major burden and that the police know there every move is nonsence and even if someone who was on the sex offenders register were to get themselves removed after a period of time it would not mean they would be able to get a job working with children or vunerable adults as there previous convictions would stll show up on a CRB check.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      About to change

      It is about to become somewhat more annoying as the government since having to change the law, will close some loopholes.

      Now it will be 1 day abroad. Notify every week if they do not have a fixed abode. Not be able to get off the register by changing their names (how was this ever allowed), and finally notify if they as in a household with an under 18.

      I hope they use some common sense with that last one as not all sex offenders are going to be a problem when being in a house with children. In the case of rapists, the children's mother could be at more risk. Sex offenders register does not = child molesters. I really think child molesters should have their own register, as it just seems too confusing for members of the public.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      @mark l 2

      There's one thing you missed out... informing your place of work.

      My Other half works in the offenders unit..

      If you have a job (which is unlikely after being put on the register) you have to inform your employer of the nature of your offence and that you are on the Offenders register and an plain clothes officer (From the unit) accompanies you to make sure you comply, otherwise you are in breach of the conditions of the register and can be arrested on the spot.

      Same thing if you get a new job you have to inform your employer that you are on the register. I've heard my partner having to arrest employers on a number of occasions who got violent when informed.

      This is anyone who is on the register no matter how long, even those who are no longer out on licence (probation). So saying that it does not affect a persons daily life is not quite right...

      1. catch3r

        cobblers

        Utter twaddle. There is no requirement for people on the register to inform employers. They will however have to be honest in any questions they are asked re previous convictions etc.

        If it's an issue of child safety, it will be the police who inform the employer.

  22. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    SOR like the House of Commons and Lords in *reverse*

    It is only *now* that methods are being brought in to *allow* MP's to be dumped before the *next* general election (despite in one case being "Ill" while she was secretly filmed offering her services as a lobbyist). In the Lords there was *no* mechanism to remove a Lord from the *house* no matter *how* vile their behavior.

    Historically it was felt that mere *entry* to such institutions was a *guarantee * that they were people of impeccable probity.

    I can't imagine that belief surviving these days. Can you?

    Handy hint.

    Setting up *any* list whose membership has a)legal consequences and b) is *irrevocable*

    is a *bad* idea.

    *Cautious* thumbs up.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "the rights of citizens come before those of criminals"

    So criminals are no longer citizens? Does that imply an end to rehabilitation and reintegration? That'll save a bundle. Might as well keep'em in jail indefinitely then, innit.

    While I personally don't mind having some people be second class citizens, as long as that comes to pass as a consequence of their own doing, I do believe that if you go that route there always must be a way to redeem yourself. Even if such gets harder every time you misstep, there must always be a way. A flat-out fifteen years is an invitation to just do as you please and sod the law, if you figure that you won't live that long anyway. You really don't want to push people into hopeless situations just to show you're "tough on crime", because that only makes the criminals tougher too, nevermind less inclined to try and better themselves.

    If you're not going to give them the chance, might as well bring back transportation then.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      If you're not going to give them the chance, might as well bring back transportation then.

      lol at the thought of trying to unload shiploads of perverts on modern-day Australia...

  24. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  25. Nic Gibson

    Citizens?

    And there was I thinking that the most interesting phrase was "will assert that the rights of citizens come before those of criminals". Assuming El Reg have that straight, I assume the govt is planning to strip citizenship from those convicted of a criminal offense. I suppose that's one round the ruling that prisoners must get the vote.

  26. bugalugs

    Godwin away

    " she signified further disapproval with human rights laws in general by telegraphing the government’s intention to bring forward a British Bill of Rights shortly – which will assert that the rights of citizens come before those of criminals. "

    Hermann Goering would have been so proud !

  27. catch3r
    Thumb Down

    wrong...

    For indecent exposure, you have to have been sentenced to imprisonment or a community sentence of at least 12 months. You are exceptionally unlikely to get this for urinating in the street / alley, unless there are significant aggravating factors, in which case it's not just pissing up an alley.

  28. Graham Bartlett

    @Alexander Hanff 1

    Don't make yourself look more stupid than you already do. Where did I specify violent crime?Reoffending rates FOR ALL OFFENCES (emphasis added for the hard-of-thinking such as Mr Hanff) fluctuate at around 40% - see UK OfNS figures.

    @Willington: For obvious reasons I'm not going to be searching for details of kiddy-fiddlers on a work PC, so I'll concede that I can't back this up with numbers.

    I'm not talking about locking up anyone "just in case". I'm talking about people who have already proven, through their actions, that they pose a very real threat to the people around them. Yes, I'd be quite happy to extend this to other violent crime too. I don't feel so strongly about crimes against property - ultimately that's all just stuff, regardless of how distressing it is - but if you're a danger to the people around you then their safety has to be the priority. Yes there has to be the possibility of appeal, because the original conviction and/or the decision about the nature of your crime may well be wrong,

    And no, I'm afraid I don't care what the reason is - whether it's schizophrenia, prior history of abuse, drugs, or simply being a right bastard. If you can get yourself straightened out, then fine, you can go. The parole board will decide this, as usual, and the head-shrinking brigade are actually pretty good at spotting who's getting their heads straight. (I'd be happy with appeals here too, in case the parole board screw it up.)

    But if you can't get yourself sorted out, I really don't see why you should ever be released from prison. If the police came and dumped a rabid dog outside your door, you'd be outraged. But the prison service are required to release criminals who've waited out their sentence, knowing full well that those people will reoffend in the very near future and some innocent person is going to suffer as a result.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Reg's choice of coverage on general public affairs items makes me curious

    As this kind of article pops up regularly. The IT angle of it is small most is on policy.

  30. Alfred 2
    Unhappy

    Am I wrong

    ... in feeling a bit worried that a govenement is criticising judges because they are unelected?

    erm .. inependent juduciary anyone ....

  31. Jolyon Ralph
    Thumb Down

    Sax offenders register

    I am somewhat concerned that the 15 year rule might mean that Kenny G could be removed from the Sax Offenders register any time now.

  32. Grubby

    Why Not...

    Correct the reasons why you'd go on it rather than letting people come off it? There's a difference between someone horrible person who's been messing with kids and a horny old man who's been paying whores to bash him off in his car.

    Or what about banding / grading the reasons you're on it. Really bad, you're on it for life and rightly so, lower bands for lesser crimes you are on it for a predetermined amount of time... etc etc.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    title

    "So in other words they can go about their day to day business as normal they could even spend their time travelling round the country not having to tell the plod where they are staying as long as they don't spend more than 7 days in one place. And could have a weekend in Amsterdam without having to inform the police they were leaving the country."

    Honest to the gods, this isn't an attempt to troll, but when reading this am I the only person who had the words "Julian" and "Assange" pop into mind? I mean that isn't to far off what he appears to have been doing for some time.

    Sorry.

    Black Helicopters. Coz we all know he works for the spooks...

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