Nowadays, it seems the police either operate in a blaze of publicity or under a shroud of secrecy
Have you ever wondered if there’s a sex offender living down your street? A serial rapist you don’t know about or a convicted paedophile, perhaps?
It’s not very likely but it’s quite possible. Well, the chances are you’ll never find out now, writes Charlie Catchpole in the Sunday People .
The police, it was revealed last week, have been secretly removing dozens of names from the Sex Offenders’ Register.
This follows a Supreme Court ruling which allows sex attackers to argue that they no longer pose a threat and can apply to be taken off the register.
Since last year, 43 such applications have been approved. About half the people applying have been successful, including eight convicted rapists and 27 child molesters.
Worryingly, these appeals are heard behind closed doors.
Each case is signed off by a middle-rank police officer. The identities of the scumbags applying to be taken off the Register are not revealed so the public cannot bring evidence against them.
So at the stroke of a pen, convicted perverts no longer have to tell the police where they’re living – even if that happens to be near a school or if they move in with a family who have young children.
Re-offending rates for those convicted of sex crimes are so high that Parliament decided rapists and child abusers jailed for 30 months or more should remain on the Register indefinitely.
Or so they thought.
Judges ruled this contravened – I hardly need say it – the convicts’ human rights.
What concern is there at this time, I wonder, for the human rights of Rolf Harris, Jim Davidson and Jimmy Tarbuck?
They’ve been arrested over “historic” sex abuse allegations but to date haven’t been charged with anything. All have lost considerable income.
Channel 5 cancelled Harris’s shows. Davidson was dropped from Celebrity Big Brother. Tarbuck was obliged to cancel a 23-date summer tour of Britain, citing “ill health”. What happened to 73-year-old Tarbuck is deeply disturbing.
He was quizzed on April 26 over claims he abused a boy in the 1970s. But police refused to confirm his arrest for 11 days, a cover-up which civil rights group Liberty rightly called “chilling”.
Nowadays, it seems the police either operate in a blaze of publicity or under a shroud of secrecy. Both bad and distinctly un-British.
by Charlie Catchpole