Long seeks assurances regarding sex offenders register

Naomi Long
MP today urged the Home Secretary to ensure that there would be no loopholes created by the difference in approach of different UK jurisdictions to the Supreme Court ruling regarding the permanent retention of individuals on the Sex Offenders register. Naomi Long MP raised the issue in a question following an oral statement in the Common by Secretary of State, Rt Hon Theresa May MP this afternoon.

Speaking after the statement Naomi Long MP said, “The sex offenders register is a hugely important tool in protecting the public from sex offenders and we must ensure that there is no reduction in the protection afforded to the public due to different approaches taken in different devolved regions.

“In her statement, the Home Secretary highlighted the different approach which has already been taken by the Scottish Parliament in relation to this issue, and expressed concerns at its lack of robustness. The proposals which she has outlined today will apply only to England and Wales, and so I believe that it is vital that the NI Executive is properly consulted throughout this process and that any differences in approach between the devolved administrations do not lead to sex offenders being able to manipulate this situation by moving between jurisdictions, leaving the public more vulnerable.

“The Home Secretary has confirmed that they will be liaising with the NI Executive and the Justice Minister regarding this matter to ensure that this will not be the case.

“I also think that it is critical that the views of victims of sex offenders are heard in this process and I am pleased that the Home Secretary has indicated that this will happen as part of the development of detailed proposals.”

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