The Times has claimed this morning that hundreds of paedophiles have used a loophole to change their identities, putting children at risk of serious harm.
The newspaper reports that it has been shown proof that convicted paedophiles are changing their names by deed poll and failing to inform the authorities to avoid scrutiny. The paper claims that they use their new identities to gain access to children.
The Times reports:
In the most serious cases men barred for life from working with children used their new name to gain employment in schools and homes where they committed multiple further offences.
One, who worked as an au pair, was jailed last year after police in Belgium uncovered a paedophile ring with nine million child abuse images. Another is in custody in Spain suspected of abusing 36 young girls at a school.
Both were British teachers convicted of child abuse and placed on the sex offenders register. Each changed his name by deed poll, acquired a passport and in one case clearance from the disclosure and barring service (DBS) to work with children. The Times has been shown a copy of the DBS certificate.
Registered sex offenders must tell police within three days of changing their names. It is a criminal offence not to do so. However, the onus is on the offender to comply.
Ian Huntley, who murdered Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham, had previous convictions for offences against children. But when he applied for a caretaker job at the girls school, he used the name Ian Nixon. When the school did a DBS check on him, it came back clean.
The answer is pretty simple. From now on, police should review the official documentation of every convicted paedophile several times a year, maybe even once a month.
It is horrifying and completely unacceptable that child abusers can change their identities so easily. It’ll send shivers down the spines of parents today, that’s for sure.