‘We need power to tag ALL convicted paedophiles’, says police commissioner

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ALL paedophiles should be tagged upon release from prison, Dorset’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has told the Lord Chancellor.

Martyn Underhill urged Michael Gove to consider making the punishment mandatory for those who commit sex offences against children.

Currently, the Probation Service only tags offenders released from prison on licence and tags can also only be used with the criminal’s consent.
But Mr Underhill, who spent two hours with Mr Gove at a meeting in London, said police need more powers to keep track of sex offenders released from prison.

Speaking to the Daily Echo, the PCC said he was “passionate” about keeping children safe from harm.

“We have to monitor sex offenders and we cannot tag people unless they have been released on licence from prison,” he said.

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“I asked the Lord Chancellor about that – why can we not have more powers to tag high risk sex offenders who are now living in the community who are not on licence?”

Mr Underhill said there are “a number” of sex offenders tagged in Dorset, but added: “I think as we move forward in the area of child protection and safeguarding we should be having more powers for tagging.”

He has also urged the Ministry of Justice to adopt, – or allow police forces to adopt – new tagging technology which as well as tracking its wearer’s movements also informs police about their phone and internet usage.

“The Ministry of Justice is behind the curve on this one, these new products are very good for keeping communities safe,” he said.

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Mr Underhill was a police officer in Sussex and was second in command in the high profile Sarah Payne murder case in 2000. Eight-year-old Sarah was abducted and murdered by Roy Whiting, who was later jailed for life.

Mr Underhill campaigned for Sarah’s Law, which aims for the government to allow controlled access to the sex offender registry, so parents with young children could know if a child sex offender was living in their area.

Mr Underhill said he wants to reassure members of the public in Dorset and said the “handful of high risk sex offenders in this county are managed in a multi-agency proactive way.”

He added: “It’s every parent’s nightmare and keeping children safe has got to always be the top priority for a Police and Crime Commissioner,” he said.

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