Still no Island sex offender register

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Five years after it was agreed that their names should be kept on a register, convicted sex offenders are being allowed back into the community without having to report to the authorities .

Police say they monitor those who are brought to their attention by other agencies, but cannot put a figure on the number of offenders in the Island because there is no register.

It was announced in 2001 that the Island was to have a sex offenders’ register, but it has not materialised and there is still no legal requirement for local sex offenders to keep in contact with the police or probation.

St Lawrence Deputy Deidre Mezbourian believes Islanders should know when sex offenders have been released into the community.

She recently put the question to Home Affairs Minister Wendy Kinnard in the States, where she asked: ‘Police forces in the UK have released figures of known sex offenders in their area.

Is that information kept in Jersey and when will it be made public?’ Senator Kinnard replied: ‘There are different views on this particular issue as it has a tendency to push those individuals underground.

Probation and the police are aware of sex offenders when they return to the Island and I am satisfied that the systems that we have in Jersey work well for the needs of the Island.’ Police chief officer Graham Power said that these systems meant there was no legal need for offenders to stay in touch.

He said: ‘In so far as local offenders are concerned, once they have served their prison sentence or other sentence, there is as yet no mandatory sex offenders’ register as such, or requirement for them to maintain contact with the authorities.

Any such contact is on a voluntary basis and not currently legally enforceable.’ Meanwhile, the situation is different for registered sex-offenders from the UK who come to Jersey.

They are subject to strict rules and have to meet the police and probation.

Although there is nothing the Jersey police can do if the offender fails to stick to these rules, as at present any breach has to be dealt with in the UK.

But Mr Power did say that, while there was no register yet, the enabling legislation may shortly be ready to come before the States.

‘In respect of such a register, the Sex Offenders Law is currently in draft form with the Solicitor General and is believed to be nearing a point where it will go out for consultation and thereafter debate by the States,’ he said.

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