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Thursday, 23 June 2011

"States of Guernsey As Crazy As States of Jersey"

No public access to sex offender's register

Proposals for a new sex offenders register in Guernsey won't follow the 'Megan's Law' approach of allowing the public access to information kept by Police.

The Home Department is pushing for a major update of all Guernsey's sexual offences legislation.

Part of that would include the introduction of a register, but it would be kept by Guernsey Police, who would only release information to a member of the public in 'exceptional circumstances'.

Politicians will debate the proposals at the end of July.

According to the Home Department's report, an adult convicted of a sexual offence would be legally obliged to annually provide the Police with personal information including where they live, any other addresses they stay at and any other names they use, over a period of 5 years.

If someone is cautioned for a sexual offence, or if they are under 18 when they commit the offence, the same rules would apply, but for a shorter period of time.

The Home Department admits there have been calls for a US-style 'Megan's Law' to allow the public disclosure of the identity and whereabouts of known sex offenders, but the Department would rather keep those disclosures only to special cases saying 'this sparing approach aims to strike the appropriate balance to allow the Police to exercise surveillance and for the Probation Service to supervise offenders, or to involve them in treatment programmes which can control their deviant sexual tendencies'.

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