‘Keep sex offenders registered’

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
February 23, 2011, 2:25 AM GMT+0

A significant majority of Brits say that those on the sex offenders register should not be able to apply to have their name removed, our poll has found. The results come despite The Supreme Court ruling that this should be permitted in England and Wales, and the right already being extended to sex offenders in Scotland.

  • 69% of British adults think that if someone has committed a crime serious enough to place them on the sex offenders register, they are likely to always pose a risk and should remain ‘on the register’
  • One in five (20%) disagrees and believes that if former criminals can show they are no longer a danger, they should be allowed to apply to have their name removed from the register

Register removal

The findings come following the news that Home Office officials are investigating how such a right to appeal would work, after The Supreme Court ruled last year that offenders should have the chance to prove that they are no longer a threat and should therefore be removed from the register if successful.

There is no ‘central’ British register in England and Wales, but the details of all those convicted or released from prison in connection with a sex offence are registered with police, who currently keep the details of the most serious offenders for life, with less serious offenders’ details remaining for anything from seven to ten years. Those ‘on the register’ may have to notify police if they intend to leave the country for any length of time, and if they live with any children under 18, among other restrictions. In Scotland, all offenders over 18 at conviction can appeal for their details to be removed after fifteen years.

Home Secretary Theresa May (pictured) said that any changes in England and Wales will not reduce the law's force and was adamant that the bar for appeals would be 'set high'. She told the BBC, 'Public protection must come first'.

See the survey details and full results here