The Sex Offenders Register

Once again, Parliament are debating a "human rights" ruling that appears to put the criminal above the victim. This time, the Supreme Court has ruled that criminals can appeal if they have been placed on the sex offenders register for life.

Watching the BBC news this evening I hear tales of "Paedophiles and rapists" being granted more rights than their victims. The BBC should really take a more impartial view of current affairs. Peados and rapists is the rallying cry of the righteous scaremongerer, not an impartial news reporter.

So why do we have a register for sex offenders? Two words - media hype. Under the Labour Government, whenever there was a high profile criminal case in the media, it was usually followed by some knee jerk legislation to prove that they were doing something, particularly if it involved children. The introduction of blanket CRB checks and the formation of the Independent Safeguarding Authority was one example, the sex offenders register is another.

We don't have a register of burglars; we don't even have a register of murderers. It could be argued that killing a person is a lot more serious than sexually abusing them.

The public argue that it is their right to know if they live near a convicted paedo, etc. Do they not also have the right to know if they may get burgled or murdered by a local felon. Well, the truth is, no, they don't have any such right.

To get yourself on the register you have to have been convicted of a crime. A sex crime in this case. A convicted criminal is less of a danger to the community than a criminal who has not yet been caught. An ex-con is known to police and probation services, and having done a stint inside, there is a good chance they don't want to do another.

The sex offenders register is simply a tool for vigilante justice.

If a person is deemed by the authorities to still be a danger to the public, that person should not be released from prison. If a person is deemed beyond reasonable doubt, to not be a danger any longer, they will be released, first into the supervision of the probation service and eventually into their own care so they can start their life again. It makes no sense to target one particular style of criminal and watch them for the rest of their lives.

The knowledge that you will never be considered to have paid your debt to society is a strong disincentive to go ahead and pay that debt.

Scotland already has an automatic right of appeal after fifteen years spent on the register.

And besides, we are only talking about an appeal. If a paedo says, I want to be taken off the register because I am a good citizen now, you can always say no.

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