19 May 2006

Hume wants All-Ireland sex register

Derry Journal

19 May 2006

SEX OFFENDERS in the north can slip the net by moving South and this is causing difficulties in both areas.

SDLP Councillor Seana Hume has called for greater co-operation between police north and south in dealing with sex offenders claiming such a move also needs to be backed up by an all-Ireland register and multi-agency action.
Welcoming news that a memorandum of understanding will soon lead to enhanced collaboration between the PSNI and An Garda Siochána, she said: "Better policing co-operation is an obvious and very welcome first step, but it only addresses a small part of the problem. Sex offenders, particularly those who target children, are currently able to evade controls simply by driving a few miles. People who are barred from work involving children on one side of the border can apply for jobs on the other side with little fear of being detected.
"We also need to standardise our approach to those on the register. People on the register are risk-managed in the north but not in the south.
"So we need close co-operation between all the agencies with responsibility for protection of children. The cornerstone of that co-operation should be an All-Ireland Sex Offenders' Register accessible to all appropriate agencies, backed up by an All-Ireland Multi-Agency Forum where we could discuss all such issues and exchange ideas on practical measures for advancing child protection throughout the island of Ireland."

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