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Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

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Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

Post by Get'emGonçalo on 24.01.10 21:43

The 'Sarah's Law' paedophile alert scheme is set to be expanded across the country, it emerged today.
The government is on the brink of rolling out a pilot scheme which allows parents to be told about sex offenders who may come into contact with their children.

Trials were set up in four areas following the murder of eight-year-old Sarah Payne by a convicted child sex offender ten years ago.

The Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, said the early results from pilots in Hampshire, Warwickshire, Cambridgeshire and Cleveland had been 'extremely encouraging' and the project had protected children.

The scheme - known as 'Sarah's Law' after the tragic schoolgirl killed by pervert Roy Whiting in West Sussex in 2000 - enables a parent the right to check with police if anyone with regular unsupervised access to their children has a criminal conviction for child sex offences.

Sarah's mother, Sara, was crowned the Government's Victims Champion after her tireless attempts to bring in the law based on the so-called Megan's Law in the U.S. which allows the publication of names, addresses and pictures of paedophiles in some states.
Mr Johnson said: 'Protecting children and families from sex offenders is one of my top priorities and the UK already has one of the most robust systems of managing sex offenders in the world.

'The development of this scheme is a major step forward in our ability to protect children from sex offenders.

Early results are extremely encouraging and the pilot has provided crucial protection for children who might otherwise be at risk.

'We are still evaluating the results from the year-long pilot and are talking to the police and children's charities before a final decision on rolling out the scheme is made shortly.'
Sara Payne said: 'In all the long years of campaigning for parents' rights to keep their children safe from predatory paedophiles, this is the most important development to date.'
Speaking from her hospital bed, where she is recovering from a life-threatening aneurism she suffered before Christmas, Mrs Payne told the News of the World: 'For the first time, the police have a duty to respond and share information where appropriate.

'Put simply, worried mums and dads who ask must now be told of anyone's offending history where a child is at risk.

'And convicted paedophiles will also be informed that the public can now seek information about their criminal history where they pose a risk to a child.'

But Liberal Democrat shadow home secretary Chris Huhne urged caution.

He said: 'We need far more information about these trials before they are rolled out across the country.

'The concern is that this will do nothing for the safety of children and could even lead to an increase in sex offenders.'
Michele Elliott, founder of children's charity Kidscape, welcomed the move but questioned the timing of the announcement.

She explained: 'It's interesting that they have chosen to do this now with an election around the corner, it's a popular thing, but whatever the motivation of the politicians it's important that parents will now be able to get access to this information.'
During the 'Sarah's Law' trials, researchers from De Montford University, Leicester, kept a close watch as inquiries were made by 585 concerned parents in the 12 months up to September 2009.

Of those, 315 were treated as applications for information about suspected individuals.

The academics focussed on 195 cases and their report to the Home Office found that at least 24 children had been at risk from convicted sex offenders.

Campaigner: Sara, Sarah's mother, has backed the new law from her hospital bed
In one case, a parent had concerns for a neighbour who she felt was trying to befriend her children.

Checks are said to have showed the man was a child sex offender in breach of his conditions. He was then arrested and remanded into custody.

In another disclosure, an applicant was concerned about a rumour that an extended family member had child sex convictions.

Checks showed he was a paedophile who had failed to register.

Most applications did not result in a disclosure, as authorities considered the child not to be at risk.

Over the next few months Home Office officials are to consult police forces and child protection agencies about how to roll out the scheme across England and Wales.

Before setting up the trials, the Home Office sent a delegation to US to examine how Megan's Law works.

The controversial law was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1997 and has since been adopted in some form by all 50 states.

It arose from the rape and murder of seven-year-old Megan Kanka.

She was killed by Jesse Timmendequas, a known child molester with two previous convictions for sexual offences.

He had moved into the same neighbourhood as her family without their knowledge.

The murder caused outrage in the US and Megan's parents campaigned for a change in the law to give parents access to information on child sex offenders in their area.

Parents must now be informed when offenders move into their neighbourhood after being freed from prison.

A number of states list offenders' details on the internet, allowing parents to enter their own details to check if anyone on the register has moved in nearby.

Supporters of the law point to cases where registered sex offenders have been discovered working in amusement parks, youth counselling and other activities involving contact with children.

But opponents argue the law encourages acts of vigilantism and does not give offenders who have paid their dues the chance to merge back into society.
SARAH'S LAW: HOW IT WORKS
Under 'Sarah's Law', parents, carers and guardians will be able to ask the police for information about people directly involved in their own children's lives.

Scenarios include a single mother who wants to find out about her new boyfriend; parents with concerns about a neighbour who plays with their children; or perhaps even informal sports coaching beyond schools or recognised organisations.

In each case, police are obliged to look into the background of individuals and consider providing information to parents.

This might include confirmation of a previous conviction for sexual offences, domestic violence or an indication that the individual is showing worrying signs of being a danger to children.

Police run two types of checks on the individual - a priority check within 24 hours and a full risk-assessment within ten working days.

If the person is found to have convictions for child sex offences, the case is referred to a multi-agency panel of representatives from the police, probation and prison services, and other agencies.

The panel may choose not to disclose information, such as convictions, if it concludes the individual no longer poses a risk to youngsters.

While there is a presumption of disclosure, it only happens where police decide it is 'necessary and proportionate' to protect children.
In a move designed to prevent vigilantism, parents can face court action if they pass on information about an offender to others in their community.
Other people unconnected to a child who ask for information about a potential suspect are not given information, even if their concerns turn out to merit action.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1245680/Sarahs-Law-allowing-parents-carry-sex-offender-checks-rolled-out.html

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Re: Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

Post by vaguely1 on 24.01.10 21:58

And it sounds like Mrs Payne is on the mend.

good news.

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Re: Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

Post by WOODWARD on 08.02.10 12:55

Is it necessary and proportionate I wonder to give the entire sex offenders register to a private investigator thereby giving details of the identities of everyone on the database to someone who is privately investigating the alleged abduction of a child in a foreign country. Who gave Dave Edgar illegal access to the data? Maybe Mike Gunhill could make use of his journalist friends by daring to ask Dave that very question next time there is a photocall or a press conference

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Re: Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

Post by Autumn on 08.02.10 16:39

Very good question - who did give Dave Edgar illegal access to the data?

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Re: Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

Post by tigger on 04.04.12 6:43

I picked up on this older topic - this is the result of the first year of Sarah's Law?
MSM NEWS 4/4/12

60 child sex offences every day

New figures have shown that a child was sexually attacked every 20 minutes in 2011
More than a third of all sex crimes are committed against children, figures have shown.

A child was sexually attacked every 20 minutes last year, with more than 60 child sex offences reported to police every day.

Some 23,000 children - more than a fifth of them too young for secondary school - were victims of sex offences in England and Wales during 2010/11, the police figures showed. But fewer than 10% of reported child sex offences ended in someone being sentenced.

The statistics, obtained by the NSPCC in a freedom of information request, cover crimes including rape, incest and child prostitution across all 43 police forces in England and Wales.

The charity said they showed a major effort is needed to protect vulnerable children and urged the Government to treat the issue "as seriously as they would if faced with an outbreak of chronic disease".

Overall, there were 54,982 sex offences last year, including 23,097 against children, the figures showed. Most of the children (14,819) were aged between 11 and 17, including 8,749 aged 13 to 15.

There were 4,973 victims aged 10 and under, including 1,472 who were younger than six. And six times as many offences were committed against girls (19,790) than boys (3,218).

Jon Brown, head of the NSPCC's sexual abuse programme, said: "It requires a major effort from Government and the public to give children the protection they need and to provide more therapeutic programmes so the young victims of abuse can start to rebuild their lives."

A Government spokeswoman said: "The Government is determined to protect children from sexual abuse and will continue to work across departments, law enforcement, agencies and charities in order to do so.

"The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme, known as 'Sarah's Law', has protected more than 200 children from potential harm in its first year of operation. We are tightening restrictions and closing loopholes to strengthen the sex offenders register and have set out a detailed action plan to tackle child sexual exploitation."

Unquote

Have the McCanns ever worked or associated or donated to Sarah's Law?
The Ambert Alert came to nothing I gather, an idea borrowed from the US and Amanda Hart (see the Swansea Connection).

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Re: Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

Post by rainbow-fairy on 04.04.12 12:49

Strangely enough, there was just a news report on a local radio station, stating that 300 children in my county were victims of sexual 'attacks' in the last year. The NSPCC lady (I didn't catch her name) stated though that 'stranger danger' attacks were an 'infinitesimally small percentage' of the total. The vast majority were family/extended family/close friends.
I just think 'Sarah's Law' is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I actually believe that schemes such as this (and CRB checking) actually make our children less safe. In the past, we have relied on 'gut instinct' to tell us when someone 'isn't right' - now, we almost need to be told - this person, fine. This person, not fine.
If you think about it, say you have concerns that your new neighbour has an unhealthy interest in your children. You don't trust your own judgement, so you apply for a 'disclosure'. You are given no disclosure, because the neighbour has no record. Does this mean this man is not a threat to your children? Of course not. All it proves is that this man has not been caught or apprehended for anything. I fear, however, that the 'pass' given will be over-valued. I've seen it happen with someone who passed a CRB check with flying colours, but was a right p**v**t.
Let's remember also, that Ian Huntley passed his background checks, despite having a violent record. Offenders, and paedophiles in particular, are wily, clever manipulative creatures. Its how they operate.
I absolutely despise anyone who does such things to children. I also despise a 'justice' system that will give someone a longer prison sentence for fiddling benefits than fiddling with a child. Its truly perverse.
I think Sara Payne and Shy Keenan do some fantastic work for victims of paedophilia, but I just don't think 'Sarah's Law' is the way forward.

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Re: Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

Post by tigger on 04.04.12 15:11

It's a good point. I believe there is good evidence that the Amber alert system in the US hasn't saved a single child so far.

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Re: Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

Post by PeterMac on 04.04.12 16:03

They need to make clear what constitutes a "sexual attack".
Many young people are messing around under the age of 16. In the UK a quarter have full intercourse before the age of 16
Do not forget that the relevant age differs even within Europe, - Spain 13, Germany 14, France 15 - so those country's figures for "attacks" are likely to be different.
Many of these cases are unwanted pregnancies reported by the Social services to the Police, as they have to.
In 2009 there were 1000 births and 3800 abortions to under 16s in the UK.
There is no evidence that most of these were the result of "attacks".
It is sensationalism, and sadly may detract from a proper study of a serious, but smaller, problem.

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Re: Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

Post by rainbow-fairy on 04.04.12 16:08

@tigger wrote:It's a good point. I believe there is good evidence that the Amber alert system in the US hasn't saved a single child so far.
It wouldn't here either. I honestly think its just a shocking amount of money and manpower that could be better used elsewhere. All it does is make it look as though much is being done.
Ignore gut instinct at your peril - I honestly think its being evolved out of people. Its a primitive protective instinct, designed so you can tell when you are in danger, if you are being lied to etc. That 'prickle' on the back of your neck when you just know things are wrong. So many people ignore it, whether through wanting to fit in with others or mistrusting it, I don't know.
We just can't rely on others for our ultimate safety. If a situation looks, sounds or feels 'wrong' to you - you can bet it is. If you've got it, trust it - it won't let you down!

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Re: Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

Post by rainbow-fairy on 04.04.12 16:32

@PeterMac wrote:They need to make clear what constitutes a "sexual attack".
Many young people are messing around under the age of 16. In the UK a quarter have full intercourse before the age of 16
Do not forget that the relevant age differs even within Europe, - Spain 13, Germany 14, France 15 - so those country's figures for "attacks" are likely to be different.
Many of these cases are unwanted pregnancies reported by the Social services to the Police, as they have to.
In 2009 there were 1000 births and 3800 abortions to under 16's in the UK.
There is no evidence that most of these were the result of "attacks".
It is sensationalism, and sadly may detract from a proper study of a serious, but smaller, problem.
That is a very good point, PeterMac. And a sad one.
When you consider the stats, 3800 abortions, 1000 births, total 4800, that is lots. But stats tell us that around 20% of known pregnancies are miscarried, and as many as 50% of all pregnancies miscarry before they are 'known'. So if you take this into account, the true figure could be closer to 10,000 pregnancies. That is around 28 under-16 pregnancies each day!
That is an appalling figure, an end result of what seems to be an early sexualisation of our children.
When I was at school, things were a lot different. My niece is only eleven, yet she has had 'boyfriends' since Junior School - about 7 years old. They all seem to, if they don't they are almost ostracised. I'm not talking 'boyfriend' as in a little kiss-chase, its full-on 'snogging' etc - it makes me sick! Why the pressure? We have small girls wearing 'so many men, so little time' tee-shirts, 'naughty' knickers - I just think its all wrong. Whatever happened to the innocence of childhood? Why this desperation for them to be mini-adults? Its mind-boggling, truly. Well, to me it is!

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Re: Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

Post by tigger on 04.04.12 17:50

Slightly off topic, but when we were around 7-8, I remember my mother warning us not to go to 'kinderlokkers' in the park.
This is a hard to translate word - roughly 'enticers or tempters of children - but the Dutch word carries an association with the gesture of curling your index finger as one does trying to get a child or an animal to come to one.

In any case, it was all the explanation we got about such dangers - I thought I'd cope really well, be smart and when I saw a man kneeling down in the park and beckoning with his index finger - I'd just ignore him.
I'm sure in fact that as much interference and abuse went on then as now - but it tended to be hushed up by the family - the shame was worse than punishing the paedophile.

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Re: Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

Post by tigger on 04.04.12 18:11

Just seen the DM headlines on this. They fail to stress that a lot of the offenses are by perpetrators of similar age to the victims. I.e. a lot of the 'paedos' are under 16 themselves. Now, is that surprising, considering the content of pre watershed television?

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Predators of one sort or another

Post by Guest on 04.04.12 18:26

Yes I agree with you Tigger, I don't think that things are any worse now. There always have been what were usually called "dirty old men" in my younger days, hanging around in parks and making nuisances of themselves in cinemas.

Sadly, just as today though, children were more likely to be molested by someone they knew.

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Re: Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

Post by PeterMac on 04.04.12 19:20

The problem is the same as with all crime statistics.
People with no details professional knowledge try to interpret them and think they understand what they mean.
Professionals in all trades are sometimes happy to let them, particularly if there are bonuses involved.
"Sexual assault" is a catch all category, which does not allow for differentiation between and among for example -
Consensual, same age, through to predatory pae***, past mild inappropriate touching, to full blown violent rape.
The NSPCC and other people who want to make capital out of it (in both senses of the word !) will insist that all these are the same,
just as the figures for "Abduction" of children include the almost non existent McCann scenario, lumped in with the more common parent taking a healthy and well loved child out of the care and control of the other parent.
Which has been covered before in detail on this site. The totally inappropriate contact with PACT, for example.

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Re: Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

Post by rainbow-fairy on 04.04.12 19:36

Jean wrote:Yes I agree with you Tigger, I don't think that things are any worse now. There always have been what were usually called "dirty old men" in my younger days, hanging around in parks and making nuisances of themselves in cinemas.

Sadly, just as today though, children were more likely to be molested by someone they knew.
BeJeezus, Jean - what have you done to yourself? I think your bleach-job has gone wrong!?!... Wink

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Re: Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

Post by tigger on 04.04.12 20:16

From the second Swedish interview:

Gerry McCann:
I think certainly there's been remakably few child abductions since
Madeleine was
taken
and I think people
are more aware.......
unquote

Well, this little nugget certainly belongs here! By offering up their beloved child they've saved loads of others puke

They've never been big on logic.

Rod Steward after a bad session, Jean? Love it!

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Re: Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

Post by Guest on 04.04.12 21:33

Ye gods, I have a nasty image of awards or titles being dished out to the McCanns for their part in reducing the number of child abductions.

Sorry if my new look is a bit of a shock!

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Re: Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

Post by PeterMac on 04.04.12 22:35

@tigger wrote:From the second Swedish interview:

Gerry McCann:
I think certainly there's been remakably few child abductions since
Madeleine was
taken
and I think people
are more aware.......
unquote
Well, this little nugget certainly belongs here! By offering up their beloved child they've saved loads of others puke
They've never been big on logic.
He does of course tell the truth, though not the whole truth.
What he omits is that there were remarkably few abductions before Madeleine was taken, either.

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RIP

Post by PeterMac on 30.10.14 8:00

Parents whose daughter really was abducted by a paedo****

" />


More parents whose daughter they say was abducted by a paedo**** ? ? ?

" />

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Re: Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

Post by aquila on 30.10.14 9:15

Very sad.

Ask Jim Gamble why he doesn't promote Sarah's Law - ask the government why Sarah's Law is not promoted?

Ask people like Clay Regazzoni on this forum who has recently posted that his daughter's school promotes the CEOP logo on their website (in Clay's daughter's case it's right next to a photograph of her) and yet it would appear Sarah's Law is not promoted.

This little girl died, her father went to pieces, her mother campaigned for a law in her daughter's name. Where is that law promoted?

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Re: Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

Post by worriedmum on 30.10.14 9:25

What a tragedy for this poor family.

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Re: Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

Post by plebgate on 30.10.14 9:26

Very sad news indeed.  

If I were Clay R. I would ask that my daughter's photo be removed from the school's website.

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Re: Sarah's Law allowing parents to carry out sex offender checks is to be rolled out

Post by frost on 30.10.14 9:30

My heart goes out to the Payne family  they really have endured the worst nightmare imaginable since Sarahs death . 

I did not realise Michael had been jailed for striking his brother I would have thought under the circumstances a custodial sentence was rather excessive , he obviously needed help and support which by the looks of things was not forthcoming . 

Sara has also suffered immensly in the aftermath of Sarahs death and suffered a brain hemorage infact I think she had 2 if I remember correctly . 

Compare this family to the Mccanns and there really is no comparison whatsoever . 

Michael was jailed for assaulting his brother the Mccanns did not even recieve a slap on the wrist for supposedly abandoning 3 toddlers to fend for themselves .

Sara has also done far more for the protection of children than the Mccanns will ever achieve . 

Just what makes the Mccanns so special when families like the Paynes and Needhams are left to suffer , fend for themselves and basically just get on with it ?

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