MP welcomes ban on sex offenders changing names to avoid detection

Sarah Champion MPSarah Champion MP
Sarah Champion MP
CAMPAIGNING Sarah Champion welcomed confirmation that sex offenders will be banned from changing their names to avoid detection.

More than 700 registered offenders have gone missing in the past three years, making it likely that they have breached their notification requirements without getting caught.

Homes secretary James Cleverly announced last week (28) that the government would bring forward amendments to restrict the ability to change names in certain circumstances.

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The aim is to close a safeguarding loophole which currently allows offenders to slip under the radar and obtain clean DBS checks.

Rotherham MP Ms Champion said: “After years of campaigning, I’m delighted the Government have finally accepted my law change to stop registered sex offenders changing their names to avoid detection.

“This is a huge safeguarding loophole, which currently undermines DBS checks and Clare’s Law, which allows women to check if their partner has a history of abuse.

“I wish the government had acted sooner, but the new law will be a massive step forward in protecting the public from known offenders.

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“I pay tribute to survivors and charities who have campaigned hard to make this day a reality and I give my assurance that I will work with the Government to make sure this can work in practice.”

Although it is illegal for registered sex offenders to change personal details without telling the police within three days, currently the onus remains on the offender – and many do not bother.

The Home Office has confirmed that more than 16,000 offenders were charged with a breach of notification requirements between 2015 and 2020.