Hundreds of British sex offenders are disappearing from the registry and avoiding police detection by legally changing their names, it has been discovered. Freedom of Information Requests submitted by the Safeguarding Alliance found that 913 convicted offenders have fallen off the radar of 16 different British police departments and there could be thousands more.
- This legal loophole has potentially catastrophic consequences. Only 16 of the UK’s 46 police forces were investigated, meaning that there could be thousands more sex offenders who were able to change their names and fall off the registry around the country. Imagine how dangerous that could be!
- Many didn’t inform the police of the change. While it’s not strictly prohibited in the UK for an offender to legally change their names, it is against the law for someone on the registry not to inform police of this change. None of the 913 individuals in the investigation told police of the change and have effectively gone missing, which is against the law. An additional 1,349 offenders changed their name but did inform police.
- Members of the public can’t check up on offenders because of this. While even sex offenders have a right to privacy, members of the public also have the right to see where offenders in their area live so that they can be more aware of what’s going on in their neighborhoods. When an offender has changed their name, that’s not possible, which is a serious concern.
- Many of these people have reoffended. The investigation discovered that many sex offenders changed their names, failed to inform to police, and then recommitted their original offenses. For instance, according to Sky News, a man named Terry Price changed his name more than five times over five decades and during that time, he committed multiple offenses. However, when one woman reported his crimes, she discovered that he’d changed his name and had a long history of crime.
- How is this allowed to happen? “We don’t know but we know he’s a prolific offender,” said Della Wright, now 47. “It makes me really angry and it shouldn’t be possible.This person has been through the system not once but countless times – and even as recently as 2016 he was allowed to change his name again whilst in prison.”
- They can even get new driving licenses and passports. When these criminals change their names, they’re able to get new licenses and passports with their new names, effectively allowing them to living entirely new lives. This is a serious concern and authorities insist they’re working to find a fix to this situation.