Law set to allow closer tracking of sex offenders

New powers will be added to the Sexual Offences Bill today to help the police to crack down on sex offenders who try to evade registration by not informing the police of their change of name or address.

The powers will be introduced through an amendment to the Bill so that they are ready to use as registration technology develops. When the infrastructure is in place, details of offenders on the register may be cross-checked with passport, National Insurance and driving licence records so that any breaches can be identified more quickly.

Since the sex offender's register was introduced in 1997 the government has introduced a series of measures to make it tougher and more effective. The Sexual Offences Bill places further requirements on offenders, including having to supply their National Insurance number when registering.

Paul Goggins, Home Office Minister said: "This new power will enable us to provide greater protection for the public from dangerous sex offenders as work on the sex offender's register develops.

"We are aware of the public concern around sex offenders who try to evade registration and are developing the technology to improve the checks that can be made on these people. The Sexual Offences Bill is a significant piece of legislation and it is important that it contains the powers so that checks can begin as soon as this work is complete."

Technology to allow the checking of sex offender's details against those held by other agencies is being developed in conjunction with the Violent and Sexual Offenders Register (Visor), which is expected to roll out early next year.


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