Monday, 18 February 2008

Sarah's Law Trial

A number of newspapers broke the story on Sunday that a trial of 'Sarah's Law' is to go ahead in the UK. This news has largely been overshadowed by national economic developments around Northern Rock since yesterday afternoon and so it hasn't had the coverage you might expect. Four regions will take part: Warwickshire, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire and Cleveland. Whilst it isn't exactly Sarah's Law the proposals would enable parents to check that people with regular, unsupervised access to their children including family members or neighbours do not have convictions for paedophile offences. I've always been opposed to Sarah's Law as I think it will merely serve to destablise communities and drive dangerous sex offenders underground together with promoting offending behaviour. I also think that we need, as a society, to grapple with what it is we wish to do with sex offenders. Are all sex offenders the same? Do we want to allow some sex offenders out of jail? If so, we have to deal with the practical consequences of that decision.

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