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Repeal the laws which require offenders to register beyond ten years without a review

Comment 7th August 2010

A recent ruling by the Supreme Court, which supported a High Court ruling against the Home Office/Government, stated that sex offenders should not be required to continue registering each year without having their case reviewed to see if they still pose a threat. They ruled that this requirement conflicted with EC Human Rights Article 8, therefore that part of the Sex Offenders Act which makes lifelong registration without the possibility of review must be removed from UK law.

The Supreme Court ruled that every case should be reviewed after ten years, and each year thereafter if necessary, which would reduce the workload of the police having to monitor those who no longer pose a threat, or never posed a threat in the first place. The Government have yet to implement this ruling.

Why does this matter?

Believe it or not, some people are wrongly convicted of sex offences, but are required to continue registering each year and for the rest of thier lives. They are also subjected to constant harrassment by the police carrying out home visits without a search warrant. This is a breach of Human Rights legislation.

Of course offenders who pose a continuing threat to public safety should be monitored, because in those cases they are likely to re-offend. However, they are most likely to re-offend within ten years.

Those who have been wrongly convicted, and those who have not re-offended within ten years, are unlikely to offend in future, and should not therefore be required to continue registering.

Every case should be reviewed after ten years maximum, and each year thereafter, by a panel hearing evidence by the police and the alleged offender and/or his legal representative. The onus should be on the police to prove that the individual is a positive threat beyond a reasonable doubt. If that cannot be proved then the individual should not be required to re-register each year, and should not be subjected to police home visits without a warrant.

By reducing the number on the register it will allow police to spend more time monitoring those who pose more of a threat.

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